Twitter’s Popularity Predicament
Since its launch in late 2006 amidst the rising popularity for social networking platforms, Twitter has gone on to achieving amazing heights over the years with currently over a 140 million active users. In essence, Twitter reshaped social networking with its emphasis on simplicity. Awkwardly however, its popularity and simplicity may be perceived as its biggest flaw.
The Deception of Twitter
Imagine the surface of your work desk, over a year you’ve piled it with contracts, reminders, phone numbers, business cards, stationary and of course the snacks you keep hidden to fulfill your cravings. All this is jumbled up and created into chunks of chaos, quite literally. So everything you need is still there but it’s going to cost you a lot of time and energy to find.
Over time of course things become unimportant, reminders go by, draft contracts are re-printed, and you constantly buy new stationary and snacks because you never thought you had them in the first place. This is the deception of Twitter in its current state; Multiple events occur simultaneously, thousands of tweets go out, and they all get spilled over onto a single interface just like your work desk.
As a user, information gets jumbled. The important tweets about that conference you were so looking forward to, you overlook because there is lack of organization. Instead you are presented with updates from a wrestling event you know nothing about.
An Organized Desk is a step towards success
This is where Thirst comes into play; winner at the SXSW Accelerator 2012 and funded by FounderSchool, UC Berkley’s Startup Incubator fund, (which was recently canceled), Thirst’s goal is to clean up Twitter traffic. Using Natural Language Processing (NLP) techniques to group and organize tweets related to specific events together (in essence to get rid of that mess on your desk, and organize everything just the way you want). The developers at Thirst understand that proper timing is key to success so users are prompted with relevant tweets in real time, unlike your messy desk the passing of time won’t effect the important tweets.
Fulfill your Thirst?
Thirst does have its limitations of course:
- First of all, currently the application is only available for Apple’s iPad and iOS Platforms leaving the rest of us “tweeters” behind,
- Although Thirsts use of NLP is revolutionary with its accuracy, the use of NLP means that its not perfect, certain tweets will indeed not be filtered depending on how the tweet was structured.
- This inevitably raises the question “Is Thirst a Successful additive to Twitter?”
Well at the moment Thirst does a pretty damn good job organizing the tweets into groups of events, topped with its gorgeous presentation of content overlay, including media makes it a winner in my book. This tool will help you save time and keep track of the events you are concerned with; of course with time the NLP software will evolve to become more accurate to the point where organization will become closer to perfect (as if someone was sitting on the other side of the computer organizing every single tweets manually into groups).
Yes, indeed we are crawling closer to replacing certain human characteristics with lines of code.