Archive for July 24th, 2009|Daily archive page

Why Kids Don’t Dig Twitter

There’s been a slew of articles and posts pointing out that unlike Kellogg’s Trix, Twitter ain’t for kids (See here and here). Why? Here’s my theory.

When you go to school (from nursery school up to 4th year university), your social life is laid out right in front of you. Forced into classes where for the majority of the day you’ll be spending close quarters with 20-30 other people your age, it’s a trial-by-fire lesson on navigating the social landscape and that forms the basis of your social life. You make friends in the offline world and you enhance those friendships in the online world. Email and later Facebook were perfectly suited to this social enhancement.

Then you leave school, when you do, you leave the convenient social life. You’ve grown apart from many of your own friends and meeting new people now takes effort. Lavalife and eHarmony have built their business on this insight. Twitter did so unconsciously. As I tweeted a while ago, “Twitter let’s you instant message the public”. The public, not your friends, not your acquaintances, but people you haven’t met yet…but might like to.

This is the crux behind Dave Allen’s post, Facebook Linkedin Twitter – Past Present and Future. Facebook connects you with your past friends and your current friends online. LinkedIn for the most part connects with you with professional contacts you’ve crossed paths with. Twitter’s an open network. You follow whomever you like, you @reply whomever you like, and Tweetups are generally open to anyone who knows about them. Twitter is the social network where you get to know new people. Something you really don’t need to make an effort to do when you’re young.