Last week it was announced that the number of Snapchat users surpassed that of Twitter. Snapchat is a relatively new social network that allows users to share “snaps” of their lives at 15 second intervals. After 24 hours, these shared experiences disappear. I believe Snapchat’s appeal to the current generation is that those shared experiences are temporary. We live in a day and age where news and information that is not delivered in 15 seconds is forever lost. Unfortunately, the instantaneous gratification offered by Spachat cannot be matched by Twitter or its users.
Although Twitter only asks its users to read and write, it is an experience that takes too much time to maintain. Some may argue that the way we process media has changed since digital media has overtaken our lives, but I don’t think so. Anything that you have ever bought or read first garnered your attention with a visual or written headline. Whether a designer or writer, professionals have studied what types of information grab our attention and make us desire to learn more. That is the beauty of content that is successfully delivered online. It is succinct and informative in its purpose. We can learn what we need to know from a short burst of words or video and if we want to learn more we can investigate deeper into the topic.
Oddly, with its 140 character limit, Twitter fails at being succinct enough for the throngs of today’s social media users. It simply allows for the millions of users to present too much information to the casual reader. I believe that Twitter is losing because these users cannot visit Twitter and quickly gather information. Twitter is a conversation based social network and while that form is not bad—honestly I think social media needs more conversation based platforms—it is not a form that will be successful moving into the future.