So, the proof is in. As we predicted last month, April was the month that Twitter grew bigger than The New York Times on the Web, according to Compete.com. A few observations:
- Most people access Twitter not via the web but via a mobile device, probably a smart phone.
- Only about five percent of Americans have tried Twitter yet, which means that ninety-five percent are still potential customers. Add in that it's addictive, and that's a pretty hefty upside.
- The New York Times has an even larger upside, potentially, since its market penetration, in terms of the circulation figures for its Sunday edition stands at roughly 0.47 percent of the current U.S. population. (That's less than half a percent.) So, if the Times finds a way to package its product that appeals to more users, it has 99.5 percent of the U.S. market, theoretically, still available to tap.
The Times creates original content that some people love and others hate. The point is it is original and it provokes a reaction. That certainly is a valuable brand asset.
Twitter circulates news faster than a speeding bullet. Bad news, good news, any news travels at light-speed across Twitter.
Since neither company has yet to reach more than a miniscule portion of the people who are hungry for news, opinion, and connection, both face a similar challenge as to how to do so. Only one company is about interacting, and that, of course, is Twitter's huge advantage. It's got all the buzz. But there is a synergy here -- if the parties recognize it.
Now I'm feeling like a dating service, trying to introduce an unlikley couple to each other. Its awkward, but to be truthful, I actually think it could work...though not on the web. They gotta meet on a cellphone.