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Twitter is evolving and still relevant

SmartPulse — our weekly reader poll in SmartBrief on Social Media — tracks feedback from leading marketers about social media practices and issues.

Last week’s poll question: With the rise of location-based platforms such as Foursquare and Gowalla, has Twitter become old hat?

  • The new and shiny has worn off Twitter, but it’s still useful — 35.10%
  • Perish the thought; Twitter is still very viable — 35.10%
  • Foursquare? Gowalla? What are those? — 17.31%
  • Yawn. Twitter is yesterday’s news — 12.50%

On one hand, the new and shiny has worn off Twitter, but it is reinventing itself to maintain relevance. For example, the company recently announced a revenue model based on advertising. For the first time, Twitter has a chance to become profitable (at least to actually earn revenue). Twitter is also entering the geo-location craze with a new feature called Points of Interest.

It is orienting itself to be used ubiquitously in a mobile environment. In his keynote at the recent Twitter developer conference, Chirp, company CEO Evan Williams said that as of today, only 37% of active users use Twitter on their mobile devices. He wants to see that number rise to 100%. Speaking of use, there are more than 55 million new tweets created each day, and more than 600 million search queries per day.

Finally, Twitter is putting lots of emphasis on building out and shoring up its infrastructure in order to handle the growth. I won’t say that gone are the days of the “fail whale,” but the platform does seem to be much more stable than in the past.

Williams says that “Twitter is evolving. The goal is to serve users. There is much left to invent.” I believe Twitter’s heyday has not yet passed. It will be with us for a long time to come.

Paul Chaney is an Internet marketing consultant and speaker on the topic of social media, author of “The Digital Handshake” and a member of the SmartBrief on Social Media Advisory Board.