Usually, internet fads come and go but the ones that last usually come in waves. Facebook had a big wave and then another when they released the platform. The iPhone set off shock waves and will probably see another resurgence when they wifi App store goes live (if there are any interesting ideas left by the time jailbreaking runs its course—but that’s another article) and yet another when the iPhone finally goes 3G.
It’s amazing that an application as simple as twitter, just a small message box and a very rudimental friending feature can spread so much. It’s so easy to ignore yet a lot of people keep coming back. We’ve all seen tons of analysis how they’ve really done a stellar job with a truly open API (not many web services, especially social networks, support write methods) and an interface to every possible mobile device (except email). What’s more if you’re missing something you can build it yourself and many do.
So, as a result of losing my MacBook to repair but luckily left with my iPod Touch and wifi along with the release of two good iPod Touch Twitter clients (Mobile Twitter—a not-so-sexy interface but more functionality like working links to individual messages and Twinkle—the sexier venture-funded client with lots of promise), I basically re-discovered Twitter. It’s a great way to keep a pulse on the web while waving your hand to the world at large.
Maybe I’m just over-worked but I really enjoy the release of just firing off random status checks and thoughts that I know roughly 5 people in the world may care about. At work I have Twhirl running in the background, which a real killer client (if Twinkle can bring all their features to the iPhone in time for the official wifi App store, they could probably dominate).
It really makes you think about the importance of creating a social application that you can jump in and out of casually to pick up where you left off rather than the walled garden approach of traditional social networks where you can easily get fatigued from both updating your information and staying in touch with others.