Oprah does everything in a big way. She affects book sales in ways that make publishers drool. She gains a lot of weight then she loses a lot of weight. She can make someone go from just living in a household to being a household name. She certainly has a pop culture Midas touch of sorts so recently she lent that power to none other than the folks at Twitter.
Of course her impact has its supporters and detractors. Hitwise reports some pretty strong numbers around the posting of her first tweet last Friday. Interestingly, the chart below may also reflect the promotion leading up to the event itself more than anything else.
Share of US Internet visits to Twitter increased 24% on Friday, April 17, the day of Oprah’s first Tweet. Comparing visits with the previous Friday, visits were up 43%.
So what does this all mean? Once again the best and safest answer is “Who knows?” For those who have decided that Twitter is only for the tragically hip they are still in mourning. Nothing can kill cool more quickly that a major influx of mommy jeans. Of course, an actual real concern is the fact with so many users getting on board, the notorious Fail Whale may be around more than any Twitterer would like. Don’t blame that on Oprahphiles though because that one falls squarely on the shoulders of the Twitter tech delivery team.
Many of these Twitter veterans are Internet marketing types as well and while there may be some consternation around this ‘uncooling’ of Twitter, this event should actually trigger a full blown celebration. Why? Well, despite all the hubbub about Twitter being such a great business tool, even the most liberal estimates show the number of users currently in the 15 million range. You can join the game of wild speculation and arguing over this number if you choose to do so. The fact of the matter is despite its meteoric rise 15 million people is not a large universe, especially when the bulk of Twitter users have been more tech oriented up until the day Oprah ruined it for their corner of the world.
So for all of you folks who think Twitter is too cool for the rest of the planet you can mark April 17, 2009 as the real Black Friday, a dark day indeed. It was the day that the rest of the world was given the green light to use Twitter. It was the “Day the Tweet Died”.