Twitter has become such a powerful force, in a relatively short period. But, how long is it going to be at the helm? The days are numbered, I’d say. Twitter was an excellent idea – however, it was started without monetization plans or future growth ideas. The power of Twitter lies in its simplicity, which really helped in the acceptance of the platform by the masses.
Now, Twitter by definition is a micro-blogging service – which lets you share content limited to 140 characters. This limitation in content size was possibly due to two reasons:
1. Twitter wanted content to be shared via SMS, which was limited to 160 chars
2. Twitter, by very defintion was intended to share bits of content
Social Media is like a 2-sided market place. The platform should be optimal for both the content publishers & the target audience (yet another reason, why Twitter clicked!). Most Twitter publishers publish content, along with a URL (usually shortened) they want the audience to visit. Content publisher’s #1 way would’ve been if the audience could follow their RSS feeds. However, the audience found it easier to follow Twitter, instead. Hence the publishers had to move to Twitter as well!
Now, what’s Tumblr? If Twitter is like a house-hold knife, Tumblr is Swiss Army Knife. Tumblr describes itself as follows:
“Tumblr lets you effortlessly share anything. Post text, photos, quotes, links, music, and videos, from your browser, phone, desktop, email, or wherever you happen to be. You can customize everything, from colors, to your theme’s HTML.”
The posts in Tumblr are called as Tumblogs, and they aren’t limited to text. They can be text, audio recordings (sent directly from mobile – and you don’t need internet enabled on your phone!). In addition it comes as a package. With Twitter, one needs to have accounts with URL shortening services & analyse the traffic there. On the other hand, Tumblr allows Google Analytics integration! You can’t make Tumblogs from Twitter – but you can tweet from Tumblr! Optionally, one can also post Facebook updates from Tumblr.
In short, Tumblr gives you all the tools to publish content. The question is, can Tumblr outscore Twitter’s strength – its simplicity? Tumblr is currently ranked 54 on Alexa, which is extremely good. However, in a “winner-takes-it-all” market where it is, it needs to reach the masses. When internet was new, no one knew how to send emails. Then, everyone learnt to. Video streaming wasn’t popular with slow internet connections. But, Youtube changed the rule, and got adopted. Twitter achieved excellent adoption as well.
Tumblr is an out-right winner in terms of features. The only barrier I can see is with adoption, which I believe Tumblr will achieve with time. Then, Twitter will be a thing of past!