"Twitter is so young and so new, yet so vital to the way we communicate and share information," said Jeff Kagan, an independent analyst. "It has gone through enormous changes in a few short years. During the last five years, we have seen it used in very creative ways no one imagined."
He pointed out that Twitter is able to make people feel connected to celebrities, politicians and world leaders.
The big question is what comes next for the social network?
"Well, when Twitter introduced Vine this January with the idea of letting users share short, looping videos, I felt as though we were seeing a bit of a rebirth with the introduction of a new, seemingly inane service that might grow into something vital," said Shimmin. "I feel that Twitter, as a communications utility rather than a social destination site like Facebook, will evolve in line with market and cultural demand."
And Patrick Moorhead, an analyst with Moor Insights & Strategy, said Twitter`s biggest challenge may be maintaining its simplicity and speed while adding sticky and money-making services.
"Consumers like Twitter because it`s simple, fast and pervasive. If Twitter gets complicated and slow, [it] becomes just another Facebook and we don't need two," he said. "I expect Twitter to build into a very streamlined version of Facebook, adding many more forms of media to share."
Sharon Gaudin covers the Internet and Web 2.0, emerging technologies, and desktop and laptop chips for Computerworld. Follow Sharon on Twitter at @sgaudin, on Google+ or subscribe to Sharon's RSS feed. Her email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
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