Twitter TV On, Twitter TV Off

The microblogging site Twitter has put an end to all the gossips about it making a TV show. It says it’s not making any such show. As the celebrity world around Hollywood was also abuzz with this hearsay, the No.1 Twitterer, actor Ashton Kutcher, threatened to shun the site while wife Demi Moore expressed her displeasure on Twitter’s move.

Here’s what Twitter said in its blog post of May 26: “Just to be clear, Twitter is not making a television show. Some Hollywood folks are developing something that leverages Twitter and they are extremely enthusiastic as evidenced by all the media hubbub yesterday and today. We have little to do with their efforts but we wish them success.”

It was rumored that Twitter will join hands with Reveille Productions and Brillstein Entertainment Partners to make a “Twitter TV Show” that will allow viewers to chase celebrities. This had irked Kutcher and Demi who thought it’d be an attempt to trespass upon their privacy.

However, Twitter clarifies: “Regarding the Reveille and Brillstein project, we have a lightweight, non-exclusive, agreement with the producers which helps them move forward more freely.”

Today, many celebrities use this 140-character blogging site for social networking. They report about everything to everything else – all from their routine toilet-to-bed stories – in the short text format.

Last month, there was a highly publicized contest between Kutcher and CNN played out on Twitter. Kutcher had issued a challenge to CNN saying that his account would set a new record on Twitter, attracting 1 million followers before the Twitter account @cnnbrk, held by CNN’s breaking-news feed. Kutcher won. And the contest also helped Twitter gain a lot of publicity in the struggling social networking market, which looks like a mere bubble.

Even Twitter, which was launched in 2006, says: “While our business model is in a research phase, we spend more money than we make.”

That’s true for other social networking businesses also. Even video-sharing network YouTube, is trying hard to make some meaningful money and it’s costing the owner Google $1.65 million a day.

Like deep-pocketed Google invested in YouTube, most of these social networks are surviving on investors’ money. Facebook too has just raised some capital. Digital Sky Technologies, an investment group with stakes in Eastern European and Russian internet businesses, has made a $200 million investment in Facebook.

While there’s a noisy hoo-hah around social networks, they are nothing more than some free hangouts for gullible youngsters who want to have some “cheap virtual fun” – sometimes even with fake identities.

Twitter is one of them and it’s simply based on the “I-follow-you-if-you-follow-me” principle. Users just feel some temporary excitement with more number of followers on their Twitter accounts. Otherwise, it has yet to prove its utility. Will it?

Rakesh Raman is the managing editor of My Techbox Online.
This article was published on May 27, 2009 at
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