Singer John Mayer says Twitter is dead and, as proof, closed his Twitter account yesterday leaving 3.7 million followers stranded. Apparently, John Mayer hates Twitter and prefers putting up posts on Tumblr a site, which according to Mayer, “takes all over 25 seconds to sign up for”. But is John Mayer correct? Is Twitter dead and is Tumblr the future? Yep, and here’s why.
When Twitter first appeared in 2006, users from all over the world flocked to the site to ‘microblog’. After just four years though, many Twitter users are closing their accounts, tired of the inane chatter (do I really care how big somebody’s poop was or that they’re drinking a strawberry shake at the top of the Eiffel Tower?), the nasty comments complete strangers leave in response to their Tweets, and the fact that it’s now being taken over by people who get paid to write ‘sponsored Tweets’ (if I wanted to wade through boatloads of advertising, I’d be watching NBC).
Twitter accounts have also been canceled by people who are disgusted that Twitter collects your private data and sells it to third-party vendors. This private information can also be sold by Twitter if the company ever changes hands (I’ve never had a Twitter account and now I see why).
In fact, according to Nielsen Online, Twitter only has a 40% retention rate, with 60% canceling their accounts after the first month. Some studies have also shown the majority of Twitter users are 35 years old and older, which shows the young (who are normally the ones who figure out what’s cool and what’s dead) have already moved onto bigger and way more interesting platforms.
Tumblr, as John Mayer says, is the way ‘microblogging’ should have been. As Mayer said, it takes only seconds to sign up for Tumblr (unlike the masses of information and verification Twitter needs – but they would if they’re selling your private information, right?), and you can get started microblogging.
Unlike Twitter, which only allows 140 characters (which leads to the unintelligible garbage on the site), Tumblr allows users to write complete posts, albeit shorter than somewhere like Blogger. You can upload video, photographs and music. You can customize everything and Tumblr literally has thousands of themes you can use to make your microblog look gorgeous. In fact, the whole site is so clean and easy to use, it’s no wonder they have more than 3 million users already with tens of thousands more joining every month.
John Mayer already has 50,000 followers on Tumblr and more will probably follow now he’s closed his Twitter account. He’ll probably get negative replies to his posts, just like he did on Twitter (that’s the nature of the internet – populated by a huge percentage of idiots) but, at least on Tumblr, he’ll have more space to respond, rather than having to try to write a Tweet explaining what he really meant in 140 characters or less.
I’ve never used Twitter and neither have any of my friends. Social networking seems to appeal to a certain segment of the population, those who don’t mind that their personal information is all over the internet. My friends and I however tend not to be the type of people who feel the need to report what color underwear we’re wearing or which famous person we just saw on the street. After all, nobody’s life is really that interesting when you distill it down to the minutia. Even John Mayer’s. Believe me.