Twitter Sees "Crazy Insane Viral Growth"
In some ways it’s not fair to measure the growth of Twitter versus the early growth of Blogger by the sheer volume of posts. Twitter posts are limited to 140 characters, while Blogger offers a blank slate for publishing blog posts.
That said, it’s very interesting to look at a series of charts, statistics, and analysis offered by Jason Kotte today that compares the growth of the two services.
The long story short, when looking at Twitter versus Blogger, is that Twitter is seeing exponential growth (the tipping point came last November) while Blogger’s growth since its launch in 1999 is far more gradual. Jason cheers Twitter’s “crazy insane viral growth,” and I think that’s a perfect description.
Just as with blogging, there will be people who get into Twitter â€“ which is a form of mini-blogging in some ways â€“ and those who don’t. But people who are into Twitter actively evangelize for the service that bases itself around the simple question, “What are you doing?” At its core, it’s an easy and elegant and even addictive tool to share information and keep in touch with (friends) and keep tabs on (those you admire or want to keep an eye on within) the Twitterverse.
It’s also an agile and flexible tool in that you can use it in any way that you like. For example, a group or friends or co-workers can limit usage to themselves for close communication. Alternatively, you can add influential bloggers (such as Robert Scoble or Dave Winer) or politicians (such as John Edwards or Barack Obama) and keep up with their ongoing thoughts, links, and messages. Finally and importantly, it’s a great service while on the go â€“ you can access Twitter via web, IM, or SMS â€“ and can be a powerful communications tool during events (it drew big time buzz during this year’s SXSW).
The best ideas are usually simple, and Twitter certainly falls into that camp.
There are those on Twitter who “tweet” about mundane, boring, or terribly uninteresting things, just as is the case with bloggers. Similarly, just as there are a great many fascinating, interesting, and compelling blogs, there’s an equal number of Twitterers who are worth the time to follow.
By the way: I’ve just installed Twitbin, a Firefox plug-in that brings messages from those I follow on Twitter to the left side of my web browser, and I love it.
Update: An update from Kottke explains that there are some problems with the data that was used for his study, and that Twitter growth might not be quite as crazy insane as thought. Oh well, I still dig the Twitter and it seems that many others do as well.