Has Twitter Become Mainstream?
The definition of mainstream is synonymous with a dominant or prevailing trend or movement. Some “experts” say Twitter is used mostly by techies and not yet mainstream. These commentators say that Twitter will not achieve huge success unless and until it becomes mainstream.
An Edison Research/Arbitron Internet & Multimedia study from earlier this year revealed that 87% of all Americans knew about Twitter, but only 7% have used it. Twitter has 145 million users in many countries.
I believe Twitter has crossed the tipping point into a mainstream service. This position is based on: (1) the large number of global users; (2) a study of global trending topics; and (3) recent revelations by Twitter’s founders regarding plans to grow globally using mobile and SMS. Sampling the top weekly global trending topics from this year, revealed the following topics: World Cup 2010 (five straight weeks); Inception (three weeks in a row); Teen Choice Awards; Scott Pilgrim vs. The World; Soccer; Emmy Awards; College Football; MTV’s Video Music Awards; NFL; Justin Bieber; Glee; Brazil; and most recently the Chilean miner rescue. These subjects are topical and mainstream.
I believe the number of Twitter users will surpass Facebook by 2012 and become the first social platform to reach 1 billion users. Then, even the naysayers will have to admit that Twitter is mainstream.