Last week’s TWIT (This Week in Tech) had Jason Calacanis as a guest. He made two comments about Twitter that I thought were significant:
1. Twitter will likely continue to grow world-wide because it is hand-set friendly. In much of the 2/3rds world the cell phone is their PC. They are cheap, available, and universal. Cell phones leap frogged over land lines, and texting has leap frogged over e-mail. In countries where many of the poor use pre-pay cell phone service texting is used often instead of voice calls. Twitter easily fits into this world more easily than most other social networking sites. Social networking has only begun to grow in the developing world but early indications are that it will explode.
2. E-mail addresses have become “the name” for many, but with multiple accounts and spam this is declining. It could be that if twitter continues to grow at this pace then twitter user IDs will become “the name” for people, how they are identified. Twitter is already displacing e-mail for many because of its economical way of getting on the handset, and because the user is the gate keeper being more spam resistant than e-mail. Phone numbers change or get lost. Twitter IDs will increasingly be (he thinks, and he may be right) the communications surest tool of contact between friends.