Today on social media day and in the wake of Facebook’s (successful or unsuccessful, you decide) IPO I pose the question, “Is Twitter too big to fail?”.
Twitter is a de facto media company, for all intents and purposes, despite what their CEO says. In the recent past Twitter has been the source of live media coverage of the raid in Pakistan and an important part of the digital revolution in Egypt among other notable events. Personally, Twitter is my trusted source of news and information and is my primary method for connecting with other influencers in my network or reaching out to find expertise around the world. Facebook, on the other hand, is my place to keep in touch with friends and family and find out what plants my mom is planting in her garden (hi mom!). To me, this is an important distinction; Facebook = personal and Twitter = personal+professional. Given this distinction and context I am in constant contact with my Twitter stream throughout the day and use it as my first source of news (I heard about the SCOTUS ruling on the Affordable Healthcare Act (#AHA) via SCOTUS blog on Twitter before going anywhere else). With Twitter being such an important part of breaking news /and/ making news, should the cost of operating Twitter just be considered a cost of doing business in the world today?
The pressure on companies to monetize and subsequently go public is huge as VCs and others look to receive large payouts from their investments. While I am not against this practice (I hope to one day be a beneficiary of this practice!) I do believe that this practice is not a good model for all companies and I’d like to propose that Twitter might be one of those companies. With Twitter being so vital to sharing/creating news, organizing people, governments and providing a voice to those who otherwise might not have one I believe Twitter might just be too big to fail. Maybe instead of viewing Twitter as another social company with a huge upside on investment or trying to figure out how to monetize Twitter we should instead focus on how to further make use of a tool that has already changed the shape of our world in just the past few years.
What do you think? Is Twitter too big to fail and should the pressure be removed from Twitter to monetize? Should the world just consider the cost of running Twitter as a cost of existing in the world today? These are huge questions; sound off in the comments section or find me on Twitter to continue the conversation.