Ten reasons why Brits love Twitter

23 01 2009

So it is official, Brits absolutely love the micro blogging (no I don’t know what that means either) service Twitter. According to online trend watchers Hitwise UK Internet traffic to Twitter has increased 10-fold over past last 12 months.
As techy gospel UK TechCrunch notes

UK Internet traffic to the website has increased by a staggering 974% over this period. Hitwise also admits that Twitter is probably even more popular than its numbers imply, as Hitwise is only measuring traffic to the main Twitter website, not access via mobile (it’s big on the iPhone, I can tell you) or third party applications like Twitterrific and Tweetdeck.

So why is this? It is obvious why Twitter is growing on the other side of The Pond

1 The Yanks invented it 2 Culturally Americans are not afraid of sharing their plans, achievements and disappointments. 3 They have just had their May 1st 1997 – a one time moment of political optimism which is made for sharing over 140 charactars.

But why then do us Brits love it so much? Well here are the results of our scientific survey of an office full of Twitter devotees

1 We did kind of invent it – Except it was called text messaging and was used on mobiles and you only shared with one person. The American never got texting the way we did so maybe Twitter is their text alternative.

2 As a nation we aren’t that demonstrative – Stiff upper lips and all that. One of the reasons why blogging isn’t as big over here is that we really don’t have that much to say. 140 charactars give us more than enough words to express ourselves.

3 Moaning about the weather – Our national pastime and with Twitter we can talk about our favourite topic with a large group of people instantly. Brilliant!

4 Celeb stalking – Ok, so I might not be too bothered about what Philip Schofield has for breakfast, but Brits do love to find out about their lives of their favourite celebs. Interesting to note that Stephen Fry now has more Twitter followers than either of the heavyweight Yanks Scoble or Calacanis.

5 Public transport – In British cities this is obviously completely shit, so what better way to let the entire world know that you are few minutes late because you have ducked into Starbucks are waiting for the non existent bus

6 We love mobiles – And those all you can eat data tariffs mean that we can happily let the world know our every move without having to worry too much about the cost

7 Queuing – Well we are used to be being a little patient, so Twitter’s consistent down time doesn’t annoy us as much as it would say the Italians.

8 No ads – Yep it is almost a public services, a bit like the BBC. We are used to that

9 Flirting – We perfected the art of the flirty text years ago. Twitter enables us to take that coy but complimentary comment to another level.

10 We are too busy to blog – Allright so our economy might be going down the toilet but most of us are still wedded to that old Brit work ethic. So while we might not have the time to blog we can def find just enough time to tweet

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2 responses

23 01 2009
Alex

I’d agree with most of those… but if the mainstream press refers to people following a Twitter blog one more time I will probably go in and carve the words “TWITTER FEED” into the Editor’s arm.

Not quite Richey Manic, I know, but I like to think that it’s in the tradition of the Q photo with Loz Hardy scrawling “4ARM” on his in pen…

23 01 2009
Katherine Hannaford

Definitely agree with number 10.

I think it also comes down to time, I have no time to do anything of a personal note, so Twitter allows me to engage with friends who I’m too busy to Facebook/call/email. Although that might be simply a London-centric reason, not UK-wide.

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