Twitter and the Hype Cycle: On the Road to Realistic Expectations

The following is the first guest post on my blog written by my good friend David Smith

(click to enlarge)The Hype Cycle has been used by Gartner since 1995 as a tool to examine new technologies and their reception from both organizations and individuals. With articles and commentary over the last few months proclaiming Twitter is (finally) here to stay, I became interested in whether or not this was a sign that Twitter had weathered the Hype Cycle, now finding itself gliding along the plateau of productivity. To this end, I’ve sifted through news headlines since Twitter’s launch in 2006 to map the progress of the platform along the Hype Cycle. Presented here is a view of those articles over time against a back drop of the Hype cycle. Seems to fit quite well, actually!

The cycle, however, is little more than abstract concept for most in the marketing world with little to offer in terms of objective timelines and measures. Even in the case of Twitter, recent valuations of $10 billion could be indications of a valuation bubble forming around this and other social media platforms. If this were true, Twitter may still be subject to inflated expectations and face disillusionment in the near future. Despite this, the graphical view of our collective thoughts over time presented through media headlines does help understand the rise of one of today’s most talked about innovations. 

I was able to chat with Dave about his findings on The Digital Marketing Lounge episode titled: The Twitter Hype Cycle