By this time next week, Twitter may no longer exist. Fingers crossed that rumors of its demise aren’t exaggerated.
It’s no secret that I loathe Twitter. I’ve shared my thoughts before. As far as I’m concerned, it’s nothing short of a toxic cesspool awash in group think and echo chambers. The toxicity drove me to leave the platform for nearly two years. I only (reluctantly) returned during the lockdown because a workshop speaker suggested it was the best way to learn market trends and make connections in the historical fiction genre.
The platform hasn’t improved. If anything, it’s gotten worse. I wrote a long rant about polarity and how users from both parties share the blame, but I deleted it. No one needs another political rant. Besides, this is blog about reading and writing. You want a political take, go visit Real Clear Politics.
Many of the writers in my feed are panicking over Twitter’s end. Some are sorry to lose the connection with readers and fellow writers. Others are upset about no longer being able to market their titles. The point of this blog to tell you to relax. The sky is not falling.
Did you know that the average lifespan of a tweet is 23 minutes* and that the average person spends only 6 minutes scrolling their Twitter feed? This means that unless you are an author with a large Twitter following, paying to promote or spamming your timeline, your organic reach will be extremely low. By the way, the results similar on other social media platforms.
In contrast, youtube videos have a lifespan of 20 days while blog posts have a shelf-life of two years. All hail, the long tail.
Therefore, while Twitter can help enhance other, more effective marketing tools, removing it from the mix will have minimal impact. In fact, if you were to remove all your social media and focused on your website and on building your newsletter, chances are that you’d be fine.
As for social connection? Well, plenty of substitute platforms are around to feed that need if you so desire.
In the end, I predict Twitter will survive. Somehow Elon Musk will pull a rabbit out of his hat. But if it doesn’t, we’ll all be fine. In fact, we might be happier.
I know I’ll be.
PS: For a great read on the history of social media and it’s possible demise, check out Ian Bogost’s article, The Age of Social Media is Ending on Atlantic.com
*Source: Lifespan (Half-Life) of Social Media Posts: Update 2 for 2022 by Scott Graffius, ScottGraffius.com, July 2022