Twitter isn’t a social network? Says who?

Twitter isn’t a social network? Says who?

I was struck by the article, earlier, about how Twitter wasn’t a social network. It wasn’t like we said it ourselves. In fact, it was said by a Twitter VP. Kevin Thau, the VP in question, seemed to be on a re-branding mission as he spoke about how Twitter was a platform for content delivery and sharing.

While I’d have to agree, certainly, that Twitter is those things, I think that Thau was a bit misguided in his assertion that Twitter simply wasn’t a social network. Twitter, like any other site that is driven by user interaction, is exactly what you want it to be.

I wrote about this before, in fact, when Leo Laporte was feeling so let down by Google’s Buzz. The fact of it is simple – the very nature of a social-driven site is that it will become whatever the user decides it will become, within the limits of its abilities.

For some, Twitter is a great place to communicate. For others it’s how they broadcast their message. Still others use it as a hook-up spot for anything from sex to drinks to a dinner date. If you ask me, there’s no more true definition to a social network than what Twitter provides. It is a platform where you can find people and share things with them. How, then, is that not a social network?

From the earliest days of Twitter, it has been a site that people used to reach out and discover new things. You never see a bunch of random people get together on Facebook for a meet-up, but on Twitter it’s become part of the culture. If that isn’t a social network, then my definition is pretty far skewed.

So, I’m sorry Mr. Thau, but you are incorrect, sir. Twitter is now, and always will be, a social network. At least according to my definition. And, if I’m not mistaken by the shock of your claim, I’m not alone in how I think of your service. Don’t worry, we don’t love it any less, we just see it for what it is.

This post is part of our contributor series. The views expressed are the author's own and not necessarily shared by TNW.

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