While this may be shocking for some people to hear, there are a lot of people that don’t Twitter. Many people don’t find it useful, and others find it to be a complete waste of time. While I was in New York last weekend, I was at breakfast with some family members when the topic turned to Twitter. One person said they couldn’t care less what someone was having for breakfast, another said it was a just a current trend and would soon die off.
Then I read Twitter’s announcement yesterday about local search and immediately had two thoughts: (1) This is a huge step for Twitter and (2) could this feature help it appeal to the masses?
Even though Twitter is the hottest thing since sliced bread in some circles, it still only had a quarter of the traffic (21.2 million unique U.S. visitors) that Facebook had (87.7 million unique U.S. visitors) in July, making it uber-popular with some crowds but essentially non-existent to others.
But could Twitter’s local search feature be the tool that brings in these other groups of people? While they may have complete different preferences then the normal Twitter user, who isn’t concerned with what’s happening around them? If done correctly, this new feature will be able to bring communities of people together much better then hash tags currently are. For the small town it will be great for local events, elections and news. It will also be a great tool for conferences and meetings, vacationers, people waiting around in airports, going to concerts, sporting events, and even heading to college for the first time.
The opportunities that a local Twitter platform presents are endless, and could be the feature that drives in a lot of younger users (it really is perfect for a college campus) and people who are not yet on board the Twitter train.