Thursday, November 19, 2009

Twitter No Longer Cares What You're Doing

Twitter Doesn't Care About What You're Doing

Remember when you joined Twitter and posted your first tweet? The question "What are you doing" loomed over the text box and you probably felt compelled to answer it before you realized no one actually cares if you're getting ready for work or eating dinner. As the hottest thing in social media becomes a tool for everything from finding a date to breaking news, the question "What are you doing?" has become irrelevant. Perhaps that's why Twitter changed it to now read, "What's happening?"

The new phrase broadens the spectrum and gives new users a better sense of Twitter's potential. While it's not a huge change like the others Twitter has recently made- the not-so-popular RT button, for example - it's still important. Twitter co-founder, Biz Stone said in a recent blog entry,

People, organizations, and businesses quickly began leveraging the open nature of the network to share anything they wanted, completely ignoring the original question, seemingly on a quest to both ask and answer a different, more immediate question, “What’s happening?” A simple text input field limited to 140 characters of text was all it took for creativity and ingenuity to thrive.

Sure, someone in San Francisco may be answering “What are you doing?” with “Enjoying an excellent cup of coffee,” at this very moment. However, a birds-eye view of Twitter reveals that it’s not exclusively about these personal musings. Between those cups of coffee, people are witnessing accidents, organizing events, sharing links, breaking news, reporting stuff their dad says, and so much more.

He also added,
We don’t expect this to change how anyone uses Twitter, but maybe it’ll make it easier to explain to your dad.

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