In the battle to replace Twitter, no winners emerge

Social media geeks, myself included, have been looking for/waiting for the “Twitter Killer” to emerge over the last few months.  While Twitter’s famous crashes seem to have lessened, the stream of consciousness style doesn’t seem to facilitate effective conversations as well as we might hope.

  • In July of 2007, we pownced on Pownce.
  • In March of 2008, we began to Plurk.
  • In July, we turned to
  • Last month, we looked at newcomer Rejaw.
  • This week, the chatter is about

I even wrote a very positive review of Rejaw, and I still think it’s the best of the bunch in terms of functionality. The chart below shows the spikes in traffic that each of these sites have enjoyed:
Twitter competitors

The Pownce bounce was the highest for a long time (in July 2007, it was about 250,000), but Plurk passed it a year later with their debut, which was well-timed in the midst of severe Twitter outages.

All of this is impressive, however, only until you add the king of the area, Twitter, to the chart:

Twitter on the chart

Suddenly, things don’t look so impressive for the Twitter competitors. It’s clear in talking to people (and reading mainstream publications), that Twitter has crossed over into the mainstream.  That’s going to be tough for the other folks to beat.

When we look at the competitor’s daily velocity on Compete (meaning a snapshot of whether they are growing by day or shrinking by day), we don’t see much good news here either. Over the last 45 days, Pownce had some growth toward the end of August, and Plurk’s had some very minor spikes, but since September 1, Plurk, and Pownce are all in negative territory.  I see others talking about fatigue from trying all these sites and I’ve personally used them all a lot less in the last few weeks as client needs continue to grow.

Velocity on microblogging sites

At the end of the day, though, technology is one thing, while community is another.  Anyone building one of these apps needs as much emphasis on attracting users as building the site, because we’re well best build it and it will come.

What do you think? What’s your favorite micro-blogging site? Are you starting to see some fatigue in keeping up with all these locations? Let me know what you’re seeing.

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