Posted March 6, 2009 12:09 pm by with 21 comments

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Google+Share on FacebookBuffer this page

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.

  • Ed

    Do you want the real evidence, above all of this weeks banter that Google is worried about Twitter?

    They’re aiming for one of Twitter’s original landmark moments/ famous uses!

  • Pingback: Guest blogging alert #2 (in a series)()

  • Jeff Leach

    Not sure of this matt rebeiros writing style but some interesting thoughts on google

  • @Jeff – we try to bring different opinions and voices to MP. Glad you enjoyed the message he was getting across.

  • @Jeff – I’m glad you liked my thoughts. Not much I can do about my style of writing however; I am who I am!

  • I bet some eager just graduated green behind the ears Googler is brainstorming a better Twitter right now. Either that or they are consulting the money holder to see what the operation can be bought for. If you can’t beatem, buyem!

  • Ada

    Entertaining post.
    I must be the only one who doesn’t tweet! Never even been to the site. Not sure just how useful it would be to me. Probably don’t know what I’m missing.

    Ada’s last blog post..Painful, tender or sore breasts/ nipples- causes, risk factors and solutions

  • I am amazed that Twitter is free and not ad supported in any way. I don’t use it a lot, really other than people trying to sell each other stuff I haven’t seen a whole lot of benefit or reason to use it. Google would be far off better to improve its services it already offers than try to dominate every single thing that comes out there in my opinion. There’s a lot of flaws in a lot of stuff they have the dominating market on…just because they’re bigger doesn’t make them better! Eventually people will start catching on to this and it WILL hurt them in the long run if they don’t realize it. I was having troubles with Yahoo’s publisher network last week – they called me on the phone after emailing them my problem. Think Google would ever do that? Heck no. Who do you think I’d rather deal with?

    Chelle’s last blog post..Ten Warning Signs of Alcoholism

  • I use twitter for every thing from finding info to relevant news that is fresh to the minute and not the day or week to getting feed back on questions from experts in real time, and yes I promote my blog and website. I am going to go out on the edge here and say anyone who cant see the usefulness of twitter either dose not have any needs or is just not looking

  • There are better tools out there than twitter, plus, you can easily get banned out of Twitter

  • I think the biggest innovations using Twitter are from clever individuals using the API. There are some GREAT 3rd party tools out there.

    Dan London’s last blog post..Paper vs. Plastic: The eBook Debate

  • FYI, the “tip jar” link in the third paragraph is broken.

    Personally I’m looking forward to seeing how to the Twitter backlash plays out, now that many respected voices are pointing out the obvious – that Twitter is overrated as a communications channel and has jumped the shark with recent mentions on The Today Show and The View (God help us). It’s no longer a geeky/early adopter crowd. It’s gone mainstream and that dilutes the value of the communications channel for those of us that made it popular in the first place.

  • I use twitter so far for updating “what I am doing and not use it for search”yes the 160 is great idea to make people “use time less to type’ however if it is all about searching I need broaden type of searching so that I can get the result effectively

  • Still twitter seems to be complicated, may be I have not us ed it much but serves to be a good communication channel with tremendous stuffs, API..still Twitter not able to monetize….me too looking forward to see results.

  • @Terry I can’t imagine Google will develop a rival to Twitter; i’d be more inclined to think they’d try and buy them out.

    @ Ada You don’t know what you’re missing!

    @ Chelle I agree that Google are better off not worrying about Twitter but rather focus on their own products and what they are good at

    @ Hugh It is precisely what you talk about which Google is so concerned about – Twitter can deliver you information faster and more relevantly than Google!

    @ Regalos How did you get banned from Twitter?!

    @ Dan Absolutely agree that there are some brilliant 3rd party apps for Twitter!

    @ Andrew The Tip Jar link is working for me so its either been fixed or it was just hinky for you. I respectfully disagree that Twitter is being diluted as it grows more mainstream. Like you said its a communication channel and surely the more people you are (potentially) able to communicate with, the better, Moreover you can filter who you foolow (and who follows you) should want to ensure the quality of your network remains high.

    @PerfectMOney Share Idea You’re absolutely right that Twitter is hardly going to be anybodys search engine anytime soon BUT what it does provide is up to the second information ina way that Google can’t deliver its information.

    Matt Rebeiro’s last blog post..Guest blogging alert #2 (in a series)

  • I find most of the Google versus Twitter talk a little puzzling. These are very different tools for very different purposes. Twitter focuses on the now, which is great while you are in the midst of something (the plane landing on the Hudson, the terrorists in Mumbai, etc.) whereas Google is focused on the quality (as opposed to all the worthless noise in a Twitter search). I really do not see them as being in the same market at all.

    David Leonhardt’s last blog post..The Bookmarketer adds Tipd, Plugim, Plime

  • @David I tend to agree with you – they are very different tools and ultimately Google will be the default for “quality” information whilst Twitter will provide a snapshot of chatter. Twitter can’t and shouldn’t be an archive – its a stream whereas Google is very much an archive.

    Matt Rebeiro’s last blog post..Guest blogging alert #2 (in a series)

  • Wow. I think we’re dealing with a Coup! Or not… in any case – Google should worry about Twitter – at least a bit, as I sense a groundswell coming in terms of grass roots information transference. That said – Twitter really does need to find a way to monetize it’s offering – at least a bit. Third party Twitter searches are rampant – and proving useful – across the web. Twitter’s efforts in this area are pretty poor. Do you think an improved Twitter Search with some robust features might be a way for the T to earn a little Cheddar?

    Kevin Sandridge’s last blog post..Appraisal Management Companies – Are there Foxes Running the Henhouse?

  • I like Twitter but I find myself not being bale to keep up on everyones tweets. Doest anyone work that is on Twitter?

    Jaan Kanellis’s last blog post..Make A Movie For Great Rankings

  • Pingback: The Buzz about Twitter | Search Marketing Sage()

  • Pingback: Twitter isn’t email 2.0, it’s RSS 2.0()