Twitter Isn’t a Social Gathering–It’s a Newspaper

In the presentation below, Haewoon Kwak and his colleagues from KAIST, argue that Twitter isn’t exactly “social.” They state that Twitter emulates traditional media more than you might think.

It’s not a surprise. Twitter is less about interaction and more about trying to wade through a sea of tweets from across the globe. It’s essentially a newspaper with hundreds and thousands of columnists who write about what they had for breakfast and the events they stumble across. The ‘social’ aspect of twitter stems from your ability to ‘follow’ a variety of people and communicate with them. But, as any Tweeter will tell you, it’s not that easy to start a dialogue with a random person on Twitter.

Twitter is still fun. It’s a real-time newspaper with a large pool of writers that can be funny, smart, insipid, or shocking. It can also provide great links to exciting content in your field. While Twitter belongs in many people’s definition of ‘social media’–it might not remain there. It’s not as social as Facebook nor is it a reliable as other media sources. What do you think? Is Twitter a failed social project or do you think it has an exciting future? Further, do you think Twitter can continue to be a valid source for news?