Twitter the next Google? Not likely!

twitter One of my favorite blogs to read is the Four (or Five!) Reasons Why blog, written by Mark and Sean Evans. Sometimes they post serious entries (…Earth Hour Is Legit And Significant) and sometimes they post funny entries (…Aquaman Is The Lamest Superhero Of All Time). Today they posted an entry titled …Twitter Is The Next Google, But Better. I can’t tell if it’s funny or serious.

Their main argument is that Twitter is a new, better approach to search:

2. Twitter has accomplished what nobody, not even Google, has yet to figure out – crowdsourcing search.

4. Not only has Twitter inadvertently taken crowdsouring to search, it has actually taken it a step further into friendsourcing. In fact, it has created the first personalized and trusted search engine in the world.

All five statements are very bold, like the two I’ve pulled out above. Google is a giant – it’s difficult to compare anything to Google, let alone Twitter. Not surprisingly, the comments on the post are mostly shock and ridicule – “You’re out of your mind”.

I love Twitter. I’m completely enamored with it, and I recommend it to everyone I know. I get extremely frustrated when they have reliability issues like everyone else, but I always come back. I think Twitter has tremendous potential, but I’d be very hesitant to declare it the next Google.

I remember when Twitter first launched. At the time I was heavily involved in podcasting and I tracked every bit of Odeo-related news that came up. When I saw them launch Twttr (as it was spelled at first), I remember thinking they were getting sidetracked by useless little projects. Who would ever use a service that only allowed 140 characters at a time?

Clearly I was wrong. Twitter turned out to be far more interesting (and useful) than Odeo ever was. Today, I wonder how I ever got along without Twitter. I use it in a number of ways – to display my “status” on the web, as a public instant messenger, and yes as a way of searching without searching. It’s amazing how interesting stuff just comes into the river.

Twitter is new, shiny, and useful. You can definitely use it as a personalized search engine of sorts, and who knows how it’ll be used in the future. The sky is the limit. To say that it is the next Google is a bit of a stretch, however.

Read: …Twitter Is The Next Google, But Better

  • Even your entry here about Twitter is a bit of hyperbole…

    “The sky is the limit.”

    Not really. Twitter is extremely limited, both in product and appeal.
    The product has no logical revenue possibilities and limited product expansion. The appeal is even less so than blogging (which is far from a mainstream activities, regardless of what the tech-press seems to think), unlike a search engine which has huge universal appeal to almost everyone in every walk of life.

    Take a very well functioning and well used search engine, sprinkle in some well placed ad opportunities and you have Google, the multiple billion dollar monster that it is (and Twitter isn’t and won’t ever be)

  • Rob, I think you need to be a little more open-minded! As the Evans brothers pointed out in their post, people thought many of the same things about Google when it was young. No one expected Google to find a revenue stream, it did so almost by accident. No one expected Google to become a billion dollar company, but it did.

  • Steven Hsu

    I don’t know what exactly Twitter does. But if it is as good as Mack say it is, then I have to assume that it can be considered as a disruptive technology. And if you look at the life cycle of a company, the pattern has always been that company with mature technology always lose out to disruptive technology.

    Again, on the condition that if Twitter is as good as Twitter users say it is, then it would be bit of a stretch to say that Twitter won’t be what Google is now to Microsoft. As I remember when Google was just a startup, Microsoft dismissed it. It is just search. How can google make money on that. Well, it did. Just like when you play chess, the frightening part of your competitives move is not what piece he has just moved, but what moves will follow that you are not aware of. Google’s first move was to build a search engine. Google’s second move is to develop web 2 apps to bring more data online so that we as consumers become dependent and REQUIRE to be connected. If I was to guess, I would Google third move will be to charge consumers to access the application and data that they hold that we cannot live without.