2010 was a big year for Twitter.
Financially, it ended the year with a valuation of $4 billion. Its value jumped more than $300 million in just over a month.
Amazingly it also had its first martyr.
The imprisonment of Cheng Jianping in China for tweeting her support for the last Nobel Peace Prize winner – Lui Xiaobo.
To be honest, I’m surprised the Chinese government could spot her tweet in light of the service’s recent growth.
This growing number of tweets means that the field is becoming far more dense.
Going against the very principle of the 140 character limit.
With so many small nuggets it becomes harder to spot the golden ones.
Overtweet and all your tweets get scanned. Sound out of touch and you lose your followers.
For consumers, trying to grab information becomes a search for something different.
As I argued in a post about Facebook’s growth, there is a growing needle in a haystack problem.
But Twitter is naturally more company-friendly.
Facebook is centred on connecting people.
Twitter is build around the sharing of information.
Therefore, despite principally being a less exciting marketing proposition, it has clear business advantages over Facebook.
Obviously this is not an either/or debate.
My opinion is simply that although a smaller audience, Twitter is better positioned to be of use to companies.
Facebook’s growth sees an increasing command of the mini feed by friend-based content, at the expense of brands.
Twitter followers do naturally filter what appears on their feed, but they are far more understanding of company contact within this space.
But companies who use Facebook to reach out to customers can be like salesmen strolling into your living room uninvited, and shouting at you.
With Twitter, this is not the user’s sentiment.
They have already opted in. Even better, your client’s content has been recommended to them by someone they trust.
There may be more competitors getting through within your channel, but at least the water is less cloudy.
Fewer friends in the way. A more accepting mini feed to try to float to the top of.
Twitter’s positioning remains very favourable towards businesses.
But as it grows, only the businesses that get it right will enjoy the benefits.
I think now is the time to get in. But do it right when you do.