Twitter perplexed me for a long time – today I use it primarily as a quick-scan news source, and I do tweet occasionally, but by and large I’m just going with the flow rather than understanding it. 140 character “microblogging” seems arbitrary and strange. Having said that, it’s popularity proves that it fills a niche that Facebook and other social media platforms do not.
But maybe it’s “unnatural” (to me) form factor makes it suitable for more than just social media.
#AmazonCart is an eCommerce hack, but it does raise the question of whether Twitter will increasingly be “listened” to by machines in addition to humans. Of course today there are tonnes of applications consuming the twitter firehose and producing analyses for everything from understanding people’s reactions to social events, to trying to detect sentiment moving stock prices, but what happens when machines take their cues from Twitter? And what happens when, instead of just listening, they start tweeting?
Curiosity may have been the first (?) machine to tweet. But her tweets were for human consumption. The next generation will tweet not for our benefit, but for each other.
Okay, maybe it’ll be Twitter, probably not, but somewhere out there someone’s already working on a semi-structure PubSub network to facilitate the robot uprising. Maybe they’ll still use hashtags. I bet the backend will use Flume.