Is Twitter really social?

A few days ago I read something about researchers claiming that Twitter is not really what we call social media. I think they might be on to something. Twitter is in fact what I would call one way communication. You wright, your followers read. Sometimes your followers perform an act of some sort, like re-tweet or click on a link in your tweet. But very rarely do they tweet you back. Ok, I know I’m probably stretching it a bit, but think about it … how often do you reply to a tweet? Unless of course it was a tweet aimed at you! Personally I can’t remember when I did it last.

I suppose there are different kind of tweeters. You’ve got your business tweeter, and your personal (non business) tweeter, and then you have the followers. Business tweeters have pretty much one, perhaps two, goals with their tweeting. They want to market whatever product they sell, let’s not beat around the bush about that. The second goal, which is more or less key in order to achieve the first, is to gather as many followers as possible. With many followers you get your message out to many people, and your message is more likely to be re-tweeted. The more followers and re-tweets the more traffic to your business website, and hopefully this will mean more sales.

Non business (personal) tweeters tweet about their everyday, what they’re doing at any given moment. Their followers are very often friends IRL, or other non business tweeters. Of course they will have business tweeters as well, as many businesses have as rule to follow who ever is following them. If you’re looking for social tweeting this is probably where you will find it. Non business tweeters don’t usually have an ulterior motive with their tweeting. They tweet for fun!

Our third category of tweeters are the followers. They don’t tweet themselves, as they don’t think they have anything interesting to tweet about. They are however very interested in what others are tweeting about, be it companies or perhaps celebrities.

There is another category. This tweeter is not a business tweeter, but not a personal tweeter either. This tweeter is what I would call a special interest tweeter. They tweet about whatever is their interest. It could be photography, fashion, gossip … or even bunnies. Here too can be found some degree of social tweeting.

So, have I completely missed the point? Have I perhaps over simplified things? Well, as you see I don’t refer to any statistics, only a very loose reference to an article I read a few days ago. I welcome comments and opinions!