Posted April 22, 2009 8:23 am by with 12 comments

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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”.

  • Lisa Goodwin

    Will you please try to use twitter to get Americans motivated to do great things for humanity. Compassion and courtesy could spread like wildfire. Open a door for someone, I didn’t park in a handicap space, or I donated to a foodbank. It could catch on more if it is talked about and is a challenge to do more than someone else. America can change. People don’t need to wait on the governmment to fix problems and trickle downhill. My hope is we can pour up a typhoon of goodness uphill. Look what happened at the Obama inauguration, not one arrest. See what hope can do!

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  • I find it funny that just now Twitter is getting all of this buzz. I went to an SEO conference and everyone was talking/asking about Twitter and its potential value in online commerce.

    San Diego SEO’s last blog post..Importance of Search Engine Optimization

  • Laura Frizell

    Social media is the way of the future, and twitter is just another example of how influential social media has become in our daily lives. It doesn’t surprise me one bit that Oprah joined Twitter. All of the leaders in the marketing and PR fields are beginning to use Twitter as a new form of marketing and promotion, so it would only make sense that Oprah jumped on the bandwagon. I think the publicity that Twitter is gaining from Oprah is a good thing. It is exposing the public to the newest and most innovative form of social media. And I predict that Twitter will overtake Facebook and Myspace as the most influential form of communication for the future.

  • Agree, it is good for Twitter that through Oprah they gain publicity.

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  • “So what does this all mean? Once again the best and safest answer is “Who knows?””.

    Truer words were never spoken. 🙂

    Barbara Ling, Virtual Coach’s last blog post..Big Dog SHOCKING Secret – Money doesn’t HAVE to be made TODAY Part 3

  • This is reminiscent of the day AOL connected their members to the Internet. That act destroyed Usenet as a hub for different communities. I think the differences between IRC and Twitter will make it more likely that Twitter can survive, perhaps even thrive. The real challenge will be in maintaining a reliable service, easy friend management, and the ability to block Spam.

  • Twitter will remain as “cool” as you want it to be. You choose who you follow, and your Twitter is based on that and that alone.

    David Leonhardt’s last blog post..The Bugs Bunny Guide to Linkbuilding

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  • RJ

    While 15 million users is a lot, if the liberal assertions are correct, that seems pretty weak for as much press has Twitter has been getting as of late.

    For marketers, the introduction of “common folk” to Twitter is very, very good news… while there’s money in pitching to the savvy folk, there’s even more when you’re pitching the relatively un-savvy individuals — depending on the market, they’re more open-minded, and haven’t yet been jaded by the huge amount of hype/advertising on the net. Maybe it’s a bad way to look at things, but I’ve found it to be true.

    RJ’s last blog post..First-time Dog Owner PLR Article Package

  • Shawn

    The fact that Oprah can navigate Twitter, shows how our world of social networking is expanding and becoming a little more user friendly. I think it’s great that Oprah joined Twitter. Twitter is a great tool for businesses but it’s nice to see how other people use Twitter as well. Twitter and the other social media networks are just the beginning of the ever changing use of the Internet.