Believe it or not, though Twitter has managed to gain attention amongst the Internet users in the India, it is still struggling to increase its adoption. The Internet users in the 2nd largest populated country in the World are obsessed with Facebook for some reason and consider Twitter to be an alien property. Thanks to the recent gimmicks that few Bollywood actors, politicians, handful of journalists, the conversations that happen on Twitter have been flashed on traditional media (both TV and newspaper, sometimes also referred by Radio Jockeys).
This blogpost is an attempt to understand / sensitize ourselves of some reasons, because of which Twitter isn’t as famous as the social networking behemoth Facebook is in India. Now, few of you might claim that the scenario is/could be same in other countries as well. I buy that point, but I can speak only for users in India and not about other country’s users.
So, here are the ten points that I think is hindering the penetration of Twitter in this country:
1. 140 is too less: Somehow many of us have an ‘impeccable’ capability to write, speak and listen, lengthy conversations. Haven’t we exceeded the 140 characters in SMS & felt the shock of the life when our service operator deducts twice the SMS charges? Agree or not many of us are still finding it difficult to drag ourselves from the inland letters & postcard days to this instant & short communication World.
2. Very less information about the person: The Twitter bio allows hardly 200 characters of space for a person to express about himself/herself. Now, that’s too less of an information for us to judge if we should ‘connect’ with that person and interact or not. Facebook on the contrary provides much more information, provided the user hasn’t leveraged the privacy settings to the fullest (which I assume most of us don’t do it). So, Twitter is full of strangers and the risk of ‘connecting’ with someone is very high.
3. No sense of achievement of approving a connection request: Isn’t it a fun that someone sends you a Facebook request, and you make that person wait endlessly for ‘obvious reasons’? Indeed it is a ‘sense of achievement’ for many that ‘I have approved the Facebook request form him/her & it was he/she who sent me the request (and not I)’. It’s so sad that Twitter doesn’t have any such feature. Twitter is like a dance floor, anyone and everyone is welcome to express one’s views, connect with other person and leave the dance floor as and when one wishes.
4. Scanning, searching for a person comprises lots of hassles on Twitter viz-a-viz Facebook: How often have we jumped on Facebook to know more about ‘that person’ whose name we have heard for the first time? Thanks, to the multiple filters that Facebook provides, we don’t lose hope ‘that early’ till we exhaust all filters (city, school, workplace etc.) to its core. But, yes its really sad that poor Twitter doesn’t have any such feature. Altogether, Twitter users suffer from a disease of naming themselves in a ‘so-called stylish’ way like – Baba Ranchhod, CuteGirl, ChantBaba and so on. I completely empathize how can we find a person in this complex world of Twitter.
5. Can’t upload an album with more than 100 photos: What keeps us busy on a Monday evening? As soon as we reach office, there’s the much awaited moment for the last Sunday night to upload all pics of the weekend spent and voila don’t miss to ‘tag’ every face on those pics. An album to cherish, the kick to name the album ‘differently’ and yes, how could I miss latest feature of Facebook where you could create a ‘shared album’ (where couple of your friends can contribute the pics each one has captured to the same album). Twitter has been really miser on this front, and yes you can upload at the most one image. Definitely, I can understand why Twitter isn’t a hangout place especially for this activity!
6. Can’t add all those valuable emoticons!: OMG, how can we write a sentence these days without an emoticon (commonly known as smileys)! As if it’s a punctuation error, hardly these days we find messages ignore these emoticons. Believe me, I have seen people use them even in official emails and professional networking sites like LinkedIn. The reasoning (read excuse) that people have is, these ‘smileys’ help us presenting a harsh point in a mild manner! Facebook has understood this logic in the best manner & provides hell lot of emoticons, but yes you will definitely miss them on Twitter (unless you remember the keystrokes for each emoticon). You see, I made you J!!!
7. No apps to have fun, compete & get jealous of others: Remember those days when many of us kept alarms to wake up at odd hours in night to ‘harvest’ the crops and ‘sow seeds’ in our cherished farms provided by Facebook for free of cost? So what if we have tired after toiling hard on those farms? We have now developed a crush for candies and are busy imagining ourselves in the shoes of Daya, Pradyuman or may be Sherlock Holmes, solving Criminal Cases . We eagerly wait for those notifications, stages cleared, points accumulated, badges won. Damn, Twitter doesn’t know our interests and has prepared a single line basic platform ‘just for texts’. Definitely, Twitter doesn’t know how to attract our eyeballs and make money!
8. All tweets are either public or protected. There is nothing like sharing a tweet with limited audience, as one can do with Facebook lists or custom target the friends: Facebook has provided us a ‘golden option’ of hiding ‘certain status messages’ from those ‘very special friends’ we have on our friendlist. You could hide a message (or some ‘special photographs’) from certain people. Sadly, on Twitter you have just one option to ‘Protect Tweets’, where all your tweets get either hidden / shown to a certain set of people. So, yes you can’t hide your special message and photographs on Twitter for sure!
9. Can’t checkin and flaunt about one’s whereabouts: How can we miss to ‘flaunt’ our visits to that nukkad temple, vegetable market, pub, mall or that clothing store! Facebook check-ins are the best way to increase the blood pressure of your friends by letting them know about your whereabouts and how are you enjoying your evenings of weekends! Sadly, Twitter doesn’t have a check-in feature of its own, but depends on other networks (Foursquare) to share your updates. And yes, I understand it would take another decade for us to get accustomed with the other strange animal called Foursquare.
10. Twitter is for Bollywood stars, politicians journalists, bloggers etc and NOT FOR ME: Thanks to all ‘controversial’ coverages on TVs and newspapers many of us have believed to the core of our heart that Twitter is that ‘exclusive’ platform for Bollywood stars, elite politicians, journalists and few bloggers who just rant about their lengthy & boring blogposts here.
Many of us definitely need a ‘convincing reason’ to be on Twitter after considering all the above shortcomings that Twitter has! If, I have missed any please do add them in the comments section below. I hope Twitter is listening!
Wondering what Twitter is all about? This video says it all in simple words: