Here’s another phenomenon that might just take the world by storm, or at least explode like some social networking sites. The twitter (also here and here) is a very short message that tells a community of people what you are doing at the moment.
Very short because it’s limit is 140 characters. To me, that screams of SMS (160 characters) minus 20 for something. The something is probably provision for advertising or other revenue generating information. And the apparently chosen transport of SMS is because it’s the only one that carriers can actually make money on.
What the social networking sites are doing (and this is especially exemplified by Facebook) is bringing people to a whole new level of “intimacy” and connectedness about each others’ lives. So you get a running commentary of what is going on with your friends, and their friends, and so on.
This is hugely increasing the volume of communication across the network – not in a way that needs tons of bandwidth like broadband does, but rather with a large number of very small messages.
So the big question is: how to turn these social trends (which are being driven by both online communities, and peoples’ insatiable and ever increasing desire to know what is going on everywhere, up to the minute) into a revenue opportunity?
The typical answer is with advertising, which is the classical revenue model for portals.
However, twitters take it one step further, and tap into the other addiction, and that is to use SMS as a transport. Nothing is yet to topple this juggernaut, which continues to provide great revenues, and is the swiss army knife of the telecommunications world.
So are twitters the convergence of social networking and telecommunications carriers (or MVNOs)? This could just be a match made in heaven. What do you think?