To note: A Killer App on the internet is something that, generally speaking, is something new and deemed to be a progression in the way the internet works. An example of a killer app is Gmail; it’s a different (and therefore new) way of doing e-mail that most consider to be better than "old-school" Hotmail, Yahoo! Mail and so on.
Twitter is something that has been making waves on the internet as the next possible killer app.
What is Twitter?
(Note: I did a video on this recently showing connectivity with Google Talk if you want to check that out.)
Twitter is a bulletin poster that allows you to post right-now bulletins of 140 characters of less. You can post to it using your mobile phone, some instant messengers and/or the web site itself.
Some of you may ask "Hasn’t this been done before?" The answer to that is yes and no.
ICQ did previously have SMS messaging that (sort of) worked along with the chat client. Other instant messengers like AIM have also had the ability to send/receive short-style messages for a while now. The only real difference is that Twitter stores them on a web page whereas IM’s do not.
In addition, Twitter is much simpler to use by design.
Who would benefit from using Twitter?
If you’re the type of person that "lives by your thumbs", i.e. sends a crapload of text messages using your mobile phone, you will seriously dig Twitter a lot.
If you want a stupidly easy way of keeping your friends notified as to what you’re doing, having a Twitter address makes it easy to do so – especially if they use mobile phones quite a bit (because Twitter has the ability to send notifications to mobile phones easily).
Bloggers, such as yours truly, like Twitter to make easy updates because there are times you want to post a simple thought rather than write an entire blog article.
What does Twitter need to do to be better?
Twitter’s largest drawback is the lack of major instant messenger support. You can’t post "tweets" from AIM, Yahoo! or MSN. If the service natively had the ability to post using major chat providers, that would really be cool.
The search function on the site is currently "one-for-all" style. You can’t perform specific searches such as "username only" or "content only" or "location" or the like. This makes it a bit confusing to find what you’re looking for sometimes.
The existing e-mail notification options could be better. At present you can receive them if someone new "follows" you and/or when you receive a "direct" message, however it would be nice if there was another option available to be notified by e-mail whenever anyone you’re following posts a new bulletin.
Is Twitter a killer app?
My answer to this is no. The significance of this app is important for people who do a lot of text’ing and blogging, but gives the snub to those who use IM and/or e-mail.
Without more ways to connect Twitter to IM and e-mail, it runs the risk of hitting a brick wall fast (i.e. can’t advance any further than it is).
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