Twitter is Real-Time + Public-Posting

You may have noticed the frenzy of excitement about real-time search sparked by the continuing explosive growth of Twitter.  Even Larry Page had to ‘weigh-in’ on the topic.  Real-time is the new IT trend.

But an equally important factor in Twitter’s rise and the excitement around it – especially among marketers – is that the posts are PUBLIC.  This means they can be analysed by many different people from researchers to marketers.  Not a day goes by without another story on how to use twitter (or twitter search) for marketing.  Marketers love it, because it gives them ready access to data that is normally hidden behind someones wall.

Google can no doubt index it’s searches in real-time and has it’s own vast real-time database of intentions.  But this data is not public.  Sure, they could probably make certain kinds of aggregate information available in a public format – but they can’t really start releasing details of individual searches.  Twitter on the other hand is based at it’s very heart on the idea of public posting.

Facebook has already implemented ‘real-time’ but their paradigm also runs up against a complicated set of privacy considerations.  They’ve developed a comprehensive  set of tools to let users determine who sees what – so the idea of ‘private’ and ‘group’ communication is central to the paradigm.

Twitters approach to public vs. private is simple.  It’s all public or it’s all just between friends.  And for most people – it’s all public.  If you don’t want something posted publicly on twitter – just don’t post it.

Twitter = real-time + public-posting


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