Do you have a Twitter account? If you said yes, chances are high that you opened your account and you never used it after using it after a few days, weeks or even a few months. If this applies to you, don’t feel too bad because you are hardly alone. In fact, the high rate of Twitter burnout has lead to a massive number of Twitter accounts just lying dormant. The reality is that tons of people would get excited about Twitter because they hear about it in the media or their friends are ranting and raving about it or a very popular celebrity they follow like Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O’neal, Lady Gaga, or Justin Bieber post on Twitter and they want to get on the bandwagon.
The vast majority of the people that open Twitter accounts use Twitter for maybe a few months the most and then they stop using them. The reality is that Twitter has a hard burnout rate. While it has improved on the number of active users it has, it pales in comparison in terms with user activity with Facebook. Twitter has a very interesting definition of “active user”. This is a user that has used their Twitter account at least once in a month. Many people would beg to differ regarding whether that type of user is active or not.
Be that as it may, even with using that fairly liberal standard of “active user”, Twitter faces a lot of hurdles when it comes to making money for its investors. This is not an empty question because Twitter is headed for IPO and this key question of user burnout can help determine whether Twitter will end up another Zynga or Groupon or Facebook. The smart money is saying that Twitter is nowhere near like Facebook. I tend to agree but I don’t think Twitter is as bad as Zynga.
Twitter is like the Velvet Underground of the tech world. The Velvet Underground, if you’re unaware, is a very influential rock band in New York in the late 1960s to early 1970s. They didn’t sell many records but almost everyone who bought their records started a band. That’s how influential the Velvet Underground was and still is. This is similar to Twitter. Not everybody warms up to Twitter but the ones who do use Twitter and use it fanatically tend to have a lot of influence so maybe there is still money to be made on Twitter but the business model still has to be built in the future after Twitter has completed its IPO.