Granted, all of this appeals mainly to the subset of the population that truly cares about politics. That’s part of why Twitter, for all its notoriety, is used regularly by just 16 percent of the U.S. adult population, according to a recent Pew study.
…It borders on an obsession for many media and PR types, celebrities and athletes, comedians and wonks, who want to broadcast their ideas to a wider audience. But the average working person would rather relax in front of the TV with a beer most nights than engage in an online battle of wits and one-liners.
Twitter knows that, and it has a plan. Rather than encouraging more people to embrace the service as an active medium, the company wants to push the site as a passive experience. Twitter started as a social network, then became a real-time news feed and sounding board for public figures. Its new goal is to become everyone’s default second screen for everything, from presidential debates to the Arab Spring revolutions to the NFL. In short, it wants to be a chatty, illuminating, digital companion to all of the news and entertainment you consume. And it has been tweaking its site in recent months to make sure that you never have to tweet anything yourself, or even sign up for Twitter, to take part.
Yes. Because that’s what I’ve been missing. An obnoxious, motormouthed, borderline-stalker of an idiot companion who thinks in sentence fragments and communicates in acronyms to share major events with. A permanent soundtrack of babbling bedlam every time I open my laptop or turn on my TV.
That is an amazing correlation, though — only 16% of the population are users, yet something like 99% of the people online whom I consider to be boring morons seem to belong to that category as well.