Nightly, when we hit the motel I would share with Facebook friends the ordeals and pleasant surprises of the day. Already waiting for me were messages from old college friends like Charlotte Toal asking where I was. There was also a Starbucks digital gift card on Facebook from colleague Toby Bloomberg, cheering me on the next 500 miles.
It dawned on me that Facebook was down-home. And too exhausted to put together an appropriate tweet, I left that to the morning, before Lee K. and I hit the road again. Twitter is a sophisticated medium. It demands thought. That's what has made it such a strong presence among activists, idea entrepreneurs, politicos and journalists. And that's what will likely confine it to being a niche player.
Not that niche players are bad things. After all, The Economist is a niche player and so many of us can't live without it. But niche players, unlike Facebook, are only able to attract a limited number of advertisers. That reality helped sour the market on its stock which, reports Yoree Koh at The Wall Street Journal, hit a new low today. Explicitly, Koh says, "Wall Street is coming to grips with the possibility that Twitter may remain a niche service, rather than become the next Facebook." Here is that coverage (sub. req.)
However, all is not lost. Twitter has enough users who would consider ponying up a subscription fee to post. That could be a premium rate, much like the some $100 a year it costs for The Economist. The revenue from subscriptions could cause Wall Street to rethink its valuation of Twitter. Also, there could be more targeted pitching to potential advertisers which would be the ideal fit for appearing in Twitter.