Twitter is heading for what analysts Gartner call the “Trough of Disillusionment.”In its latest Hype Cycle white paper on trends in technology, Gartner suggests that Twitter may have peaked in popularity:
Microblogging, in general, and Twitter, in particular, have exploded in popularity during 2009 to the extent that the inevitable disillusionment around “channel pollution” is beginning. As microblogging becomes a standard feature in enterprise social software platforms, it is earning its place alongside other channels (for example, e-mail, blogging and wikis), enabling new kinds of fast, witty, easy-to-assimilate exchanges.
But ReadWriteWeb has a more nuanced take on Twitter, arguing that Gartner may be underestimating the impact of microblogging by seeing it just as “new kinds of fast, witty, easy-to assimilate exchanges.”
Gartner does not analyze the over-arching trend of real-time web that microblogging exemplifies. They do make a good point that “channel pollution” is a current issue with these services, however this is where the ecosystem of search and filtering products – around Twitter especially – are proving their worth.
The issue for microblogging going forward is the development of approaches and tools that help us reduce the signal to noise ratio and bring meaning to the constant stream of real-time information.
Gartner’s Hype Cycle report is available as a PDF download.