Twitter is now opening up its analytics platform to all users. Every tweeter will now have access to graphs and stats that delineateside-by-side tweet comparisons, follower breakdowns, and the like.
This rather scientific mode of Twitter usage has been available to advertisers for years. Twitter is overrun with promotional content. You could follow the Swiffer wet-jet if you enjoy pretending a thing is a person! And now, with the advent of stats, people are now becoming things. The moneyball era of social media is upon us, and Twitter is pinnacle of the stat game online.
Admittedly, all of the major social media platforms have third party apps that allot the same kind of statistical dashboard to "power users." Twitter is no exception, but apps like Twtbase and Birdbrain are now effectively obsolete, now that Twitter is releasing analytics to every @John, @Georgie, and @Bill. If any new feature is an admission of defeat, than surely analytics. It is not exactly hyperbole to say that the soul of Twitter has died.
Twitter is the biggest platform besides Facebook in user populous. And without the huge base of capabilities that its only real competitor has, Twitter has lost a sense of community. The discourse was always impenetrable to people who did not understand tweet-terminology, but now newcomers really have no chance against the celebrities extended their cottage empires, pundits with too much time on their hands and sass in their hearts, and the general wall of sound. Last year, the New Yorker opened a contest for users to “define Twitter in a tweet”. I won, by bemoaning that it had become “Logorrhea, in brief.” What did I get for my morose definition? A few followers, how many exactly, I couldn’t figure out, but it wasn’t enough to make stat digging worth the hassle. #Humblebrag.
And so people in search of a social media experience where they have a chance to affect the public conversation go to websites like Reddit, 4chan, or, my beloved, Vine. There, celebrities, social media juggernauts, and the average person can effectively speak to one another without having some long term-established credibility that separates the regular users from the ether. Or they can go back to Facebook, which is also starting to bring the X and Y axis flare to its site with graph search.
Follow me on Twitter: @samthebearjew. Or don't.