Posted June 17, 2009 8:42 pm by with 8 comments

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Twitter Bird GoofyWhile there is a lot of hubbub around the impact that Bing is having on the overall search engine landscape, there is another press darling that is joining the search race. That’s right, it’s Twitter! At All Things Digital it is reported that according to comScore the Twitter searches accounted for .001 percent of overall searches for May of ’09.

So let the questioning begin. The first one that comes to mind for me is that if this were any other entity than Twitter would comScore even mention the search vehicle? As Peter Kafka asks as well, would we even report on anything that has such a minuscule number attached to it?

An analyst from Citigroup said

Twitter Becoming Meaningful–Search volume on Twitter in May was 30.1MM, (.001 percent U.S. market share), with 4.2MM searchers, and 39.4MM Result Pages, exceeding the 22.2MM searches conducted on Time Warner Cable.

Meaningful? How about negligible? Once again all the hype sets up the disappointment of that nagging thing called reality. You can spin Twitter and its Twittercentric worldview as hard as you want but all you’ll get is dizzy.

Another popular myth about Twittering is that the fate of the Iranian people hangs on every tweet. Well, according to BusinessWeek it is probably better to file the Twitpact (that’s Twitter impact for the unschooled) under ‘W’ for Way Overplayed. The article says

Iran experts and social networking activists say that while Iranian election protesters have certainly used social media tools, no particular technology has been instrumental to organizers’ ability to get people on the street. Indeed, most of the organizing has occurred through far more mundane means: SMS text messages and word of mouth. Sysomos, a Toronto-based Web analytics company that researches social media, says there are only about 8,600 Twitter users whose profiles indicate they are from Iran.

“I think the idea of a Twitter revolution is very suspect,” says Gaurav Mishra, co-founder of 20:20 WebTech, a company that analyzes the effects of social media. “The amount of people who use these tools in Iran is very small and could not support protests that size.”

So let’s step back and take a breath before we turn the keys to the world over to Biz and the boys. There’s a lot of opportunity but it’s even cooler when it is reality.

  • Great tip.

  • It will be interesting to watch and see how twitter search changes the way we search, as its a very powerful ‘real time’ search, giving marketers and searchers an insight into real time conversations.

    So while it may not have the same use as a typical google or bing web search, to find website addresses, it is very powerful to listen in to conversations that consumers are having in real time.

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  • hi Frank,

    It’s very nice tips. Thanks.

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  • I think that the Iranian aspect it politically very interesting, but I don’t think that twitter will be a revolutionary tool in marketing I’m afraid. Nice article though.

  • Steven Moore

    Anyone that is basing their marketing plans on Twitter is not thinking about strategy . It is just a tool like all tech and it has value in certain contexts. Yes there are folks that are running Twitter centric biz and making some money. In the big picture world of 30 million smallbiz folks it is a tool that has value as more and more of them understand it. I help alot of them with DIY marketing tools and info…

    In terms of Iran- I think the pictures and videos that have gotten out are very important, I am going to show my age here. I remember being a kid and seeing a picture of a Vietnamese cop shooting a person in the head and it was a picture that and others that moved enough people to start engaging.

  • I absolutely believe this is something to watch. Generally, wouldn’t your rather hear from people you know or who have self-selected to link with you on a particular search than a piece of software? Clearly, Twitter isn’t there yet, but the concept is valid.

  • Real time conversation as a search result is the best part of twitter. Very useful in building a community on your specific niche.