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FTC Looking Into Twitter (but at least there are 200 million tweets a day!)



Twitter certainly must be feeling left out in the cold in recent days as everyone plots the fall of the Zuckerberg empire due to introduction of Google+ (or just simply prattles on about not much yet which depends on your point of view, I guess).

So how does Twitter get into the fray? They put up a blog post saying that they now post 200 million tweets a day. Here’s some more:

Halfway through 2011, users on Twitter are now sending 200 million Tweets per day. For context on the speed of Twitter’s growth, in January of 2009, users sent two million Tweets a day, and one year ago they posted 65 million a day.

For perspective, every day, the world writes the equivalent of a 10 million-page book in Tweets or 8,163 copies of Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace. Reading this much text would take more than 31 years and stacking this many copies of War and Peace would reach the height of about 1,470 feet, nearly the ground-to-roof height of Taiwan’s Taipei 101, the second tallest building in the world.

Impressive right? Sure if you don’t look past the obvious. Depending on what statistics you want to believe, there are somewhere between 200 and 300 million Twitter “users” out there. Why the quotes? Well, the mystery lies in how many of these users or accounts are actually active.
Now do some quick math. At the low end that is an average of one tweet per account per day. At the high end of 30 million it’s just 2/3 of a tweet per day on average. In other words, it is proof that Twitter may still really a cottage industry in social media terms.

What you ask?! How is that possible?! Well, just step out of your social media shoes Mr. I Tweet and Average of 8 Times a Day. This kind of statistic only makes it more apparent that Twitter, while important in many respects, is not truly scaling like they would like everyone to think. Oh sure, # of accounts is an interesting number but it’s about as useful as the # of followers metric is overall.

So the other news? Well, the FTC is looking into Twitter for their handling and treatment of third party developers. In the very recent past Twitter has warned third party developers that much of what they were concentrating on would be taken “in house” by Twitter and they have followed through on the threat.

Of course, making choices that are positive for their business requires government intervention in the ever increasing environment of government nosiness into free market activities.

In response, the Business Insider tells us that Twitter is hearing these footsteps and trying to get ahead of the feds.

Twitter is going to open a new site to share information with its shell-shocked developer community, Giga Om reports.

The goal of the site will be to offer up as much information as possible to developers and partners, Twitter platform director Ryan Sarver told Giga Om. Anything will help. Just don’t call it Twitter+.

So Twitter is still in the news. Maybe just not in the way that they would like.

  • http://www.arcanasphere.com MrAndrewJ

    I don’t think the FTC or any other government agency has any right being there.

    It’s never pleasant to hear of businesses struggling. It’s more difficult to hear that the struggle comes from being dependent on a larger company’s business. Yes, I get it. The reward of building a company as an dependent (wanted or not) to another business is the swift access to its users.

    The risk is the swift annhilation of of access to its users.

    Sony’s PlayStation Network might get taken down by script kiddies, halting digital sales. Amazon can halt their affiliate program in your state. Apple might pull your apps out of their store. Twitter might ban your third party tool. Google might drop your site clear out of the rankings.

    I’m not trying to be snide. I do not like seeing anyone’s hard work fall apart like this. I am feeling disillusioned by this gigantic flaw in this business model, and moreso by the industry’s desperation to ignore or magically wish that flaw away.

    • http://www.frankthinking.com Frank Reed

      Entrepreneurs should know that these risks exist and go into these situations with their eyes wide open. While I never want to see someone’s business get ‘taken away’ there is nothing stating that they have a right to do what they do on the backs of another service with no risk of losing that platform. It’s an entitlement mentality that creates whiners rather than winners.

      • http://www.arcanasphere.com MrAndrewJ

        That is EXACTLY, perfectly and beautifully what I meant.

        I don’t necessarily mean to say “don’t do it.” I do believe that there are many valid reasons to act as a third party in ways that benefit everyone. I also wish that companies would form their own plans to deal with these risks in advance. These are real risks that have ruined countless businesses.

        That entitlement mindset is like a snake eating its own tail. It inspires failure which, in turn, inspires a more vicious sense of entitlement. We see it with every algorithm update.

        Thank you, Frank. I hope I don’t come across as looking down my nose at anyone. Rather, I’m terrified about my future and the futures of countless others due to this kind of business practice.

        • http://www.frankthinking.com Frank Reed

          Good healthy conversation and discussion is all this is! We all need to exercise due diligence and strong thinking. Many too many rush into things which can create a false sense of reality. We are seeing it happen right before our very eyes. All part of business in the Internet Age, right?

          Have a great 4th!