Goliath Picks on David: The Tweet-Wars Begin
by Matt Rebeiro
Just a thought: who else finds that Twitter is their new RSS feed? Yep, me too!
Further observation tells me there are only two things being discussed in the news: the global recession and Twitter. Seriously, when was the last time you read a news story that wasn’t about how we’re all poor and talking to each other in 140 character bursts?
In the case of the former (the global recession), Google has once again leapt to the rescue and are offering a Google branded solution; their ‘Tip Jar‘. Financial panacea? Hardly. Interesting bit of digital fluffery? Probably.
Anyway, when taking time out from solving the world’s financial ills one tip at a time, Google has decided to get—how to say—’snarky’ about Twitter’s increasing popularity.
Yes with all the grace and subtlety of an aggrieved toddler, Google CEO Eric Schmidt has decided to comment on the mushrooming popularity of Twitter by calling it “a poor man’s email”. What makes it all the more bizarre is that having rubbished the Twitter model he went on to announce that Google now has a Twitter account which he described as
a place to go ahead and listen to our [Google’s] ruminations as to where we are and what we’re doing in 160 characters or less
Sorry, what’s that Eric? 160 characters you say? Hmmm….
Should we take this as an indication that Google are genuinely a shade concerned that someone else (namely Twitter) is stealing a march on them or should we read it that Eric Schmidt has, in the words of former President Bush, “misunderestimated” Twitter’s increasing relevance online?
One could argue that as Google’s search index can’t keep up with conversations as quickly as Twitter’s that Google have good reason to be at least a little concerned. On the other hand common sense tells us that Twitter is hardly about to break Google’s search hegemony not least as Twitter still haven’t found a way to monetise their product whilst Google continue to make the kind of money that could bail-out a struggling bank.
In fact! Here’s a thought: perhaps Twitter should check out Tip Jar. No? Well, it was just a thought…
Matt Rebeiro is a social media strategist for London-based company Ryan*MacMillan where he helps brands take advantage of the opportunities social media presents by planning, creating, managing and measuring social media activity that connects brands with audiences.