An article over at CNN Money ran the headline “Oprah’s Skypefest draws backlash” while the page title included Twitter as well so I decided to take a look. Now honestly, outside of my mom, I don’t know anyone that is part of “Oprah Nation” and I like it that way. It’s the numbers attached to her every move that are at once intriguing and disturbing. Now with her supposed love affair with social media, marketers have to at least keep an eye out to see what happens through this highly influential channel.
Well, according to the article, if you are Twitter, the initial press was pretty cool but as Oprah’s first tweet of
“HI TWITTERS . THANK YOU FOR A WARM WELCOME. FEELING REALLY 21st CENTURY.”
gets smaller and smaller in the rear view mirror the reality isn’t quite matching the hype. I know that you are all shocked that this apparent gap between what was pitched and what actually happened has occurred. Ok, so you’re not but this one may be worth a little investigation.
Twitter has been enjoying endless kudos for its game changing possibilities in how we conduct our lives. It has been courted by every big name and has been perceived as a threat to even, gulp, Google. For an interesting look on Twitter’s search issues be sure to check out Louis Gray’s analysis. It’s an eye opener for sure.
Back to Oprah. It turns out that the most famous first tweet was created by someone who can influence everyone but apparently is not much different than everyone, despite her status. What happened with Oprah’s actual use of the service has mirrored some of the larger concerns that are being voiced about Twitter.
But like many new Twitterers, Oprah dove in big and tapered off fast. Oprah tweeted 10 times on April 17, her first day as a user. That’s almost a quarter of her 45 total updates so far. The tweets are few and far between, leaving followers to question whether she’s bored with the account. Her last tweet came 5 days ago.
@oprah seems to fit the pattern spotlighted in Nielsen report last month. The online traffic-measurement firm found that more than 60% of Twitter users don’t return the next month.
The analysis of the situation concludes with a rather dim view of Twitter’s prospects which are at least interesting.
“There simply aren’t enough new users to make up for defecting ones after a certain point,” Nielsen said. “Twitter has enjoyed a nice ride over the last few months, but it will not be able to sustain its meteoric rise without establishing a higher level of user loyalty. Frankly, if Oprah can’t accomplish that, I’m not sure who can.”
So going into the unofficial start of summer, is the bloom starting to fall off the Twitter rose already? Is the current negativity just a response to the previously unrestrained praise that Twitter has received? Maybe an opinion from the lowly level of actual Twitter user would be helpful to hear. I know for me personally I don’t use it like I used to but I also may not be using it as I should. It’s to be determined for me. What about you?