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Is Twitter A Passing Fad Or Here For The Long Haul?

The social networking universe is a fast moving juggernaut of companies whose fortunes seem to rise and fall overnight. Many companies have transformed themselves from dorm room ideas into multi-billion corporations with worldwide reach that sometimes even impact current events.

The problem with being "the next MySpace" in that your company's trajectory might actually mirror that of MySpace. Social networking companies must be able to continually adapt to meet the needs and desires of their users, without introducing changes that might cause users to leave the service for a new competitor.

Fortune wrote an interesting in dept article that covers many of the challenges facing Twitter. Twitter has resisted the urge to sell and cash out, as was done at MySpace.

Personally, I've never fully embraced the quirky service that has spawned excessive and creative use of the @ and # (hash tag) symbols. I've always felt more comfortable with the picture rich and friend focused Facebook service that provides a person with more than 140 characters to express their thoughts.

Many of my friends swear by the Twitter service, and I have attended a Tweetsgiving Dinner and many SXSW events that attest to it's popularity in the tech world. I've seen it's ability to connect complete strangers and to help promote one's cause, event, or company.

If I were to provide any free advice to Twitter, it would be to continue to expand their service to make it more accessible to users.

I still have no clue as to why it is necessary to sign up for another service like Twitpic or YFrog if I want to attach photos or videos to my tweets. My only guess would be that Twitter expanded so rapidly that it had difficulty keeping up with the server and network demands of handling billions of short text based tweets, and that they didn't want to compound the problem by adding photos and videos to the mix.

Maybe the famous"fail whale" was appearing enough with just text based tweets.

It will be interesting to see what the next 10 years brings in social networking sites. It will be interesting to see if Twitter can remain relavent, or if it will become the next Friendster.

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