Friday, April 06, 2007

Twitter is All About Opting-In

I found Andrew Kantor's recent USA Today article about Twitter via Biz Stone today.

Sadly, Andrew seems to have missed the most important factor that makes Twitter more than just a means of spreading around "too much information."

At its heart, Twitter is all about Opting-In.

But unlike the opt-in e-mails or e-newsletters that we're now accustomed to getting, Twitter gives its users far better control over what they receive, because each user gets to specify:

  • Source. Whose tweets he wants to receive (who he'll follow)
  • Channel. How those tweets are delivered to him (via the web, through sms, or through instant messaging)
  • Timing. How often that information gets delivered (you can turn Twitter on or off)
Put another way: Twitter has pretty much taken the concept of permission-marketing and applied it to web/im/mobile messaging in a way that is more advantageous to the recipient.
Why in the name of all that's holy would you want to subject your friends to every moment of your drab, wretched life?
- from "Twitter is Just Too Much Information" by Andrew Kantor
That just goes to show how badly he missed the point... because I'm not subjecting my friends to details of my life; they have chosen to receive information about the details of my life.

I wouldn't be surprised if direct marketers who understand Twitter are all wracking their brains trying to find a way to capitalize on this platform. [Update: It looks like someone already has.]