Twitter and the “Tweeting” Attention Span

Anyone else want to punch this bird?

Some of you might ask: how does this factor into inspired web design and development. At first glance, it appears that I have begun to drink too deeply the droughts of social media and succumbed to their guiles. While that may be, bear with me, and I believe that I can make an important connection that will pay dividends and inspire alternative thinking in your designs.

The User Wants Content, and it WANTS IT NOW!

Whether or not this is a social or sociologic phenomenon, I’ll leave up to the experts. What I do know is that Twitter reinforces this immediate gratification for quick information. The web was quickly getting smaller with RSS feeds, but now Twitter has become a framework for feeds to be generated ad infinitum. And, users love it and flock to it by the millions. It’s a safe predict that Twitter will be making the internet more inter-“tweeted” in the future.  Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal has bet $300 million that the stock will rise.

The End of Quality Content?

Catchy section header, right? But no, never, not at all. Many Twitter accounts are managed by professional staff that work hard to refer clients, customer, and fans to their respective websites. Whereas Facebook captures and tries (kicking, screaming, and clawing) to keep you within the boundaries of their fair Facebook land, Twitter is built on a framework where users are almost forced to get readers off of the site. But, the beauty of the 140 word limit is that it gives readers an “information high”. Even if they don’t find what they’re looking for when they’re on “twittering”, they’ll be back.

They always come back.

Fit this into Inspired Design and Websites, would ya?!

Okay, okay, okay. The point that I’m trying to make is that Twitter has, and will continue to, evolve the way consumers consume and digest information. Websites can (and should, as appropriate) use Social Media API’s. They should also be aware of the way in which social media has adapted their “normal” consumption of content. They scan. They peck. They eat some content, then they flutter away.

Web design in the future will be more and more focused on catching birds…

So, Let’s Be Okay with this And Ahead of the Curve

As social media continues to transform the virtual landscape of the internet, web designers should relax, refocus and offer their users the types and kinds of content that will work for them. Keep on offering your e-books and refine the strength of your message, but don’t forget that you’re visitors will become increasingly less able to focus on deep reading. They won’t have the time – and they’ve been conditioned to be averse to it.

Post your thought, comments, and objections in the comments. Let’s see what aspiring and inspired web-trepreneurs think about this.