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CNN Gets Punk’d By Ashton Kutcher On Twitter

Topics: Popular Media | Add A CommentBy admin | April 18, 2009

Will an Oprah endorsement kill Twitter before people know what it is?

I apologize in advance to any Twitter addicts reading this, the piece will almost certainly be longer than 140 characters. The fact that Ashton Kutcher punk’d CNN the other day, combined with Oprah’s first all-caps tweet (see below), spoke volumes about Twitter’s future. First of all, Kutcher really did punk the game, with donated billboard space. That’s not viral marketing, it’s germ warfare. And many would agree that an endorsement from Oprah is more like a command to a zombie army than it is an indication of the validity of something. I predict that unless Twitter either implements some amazing and broadly accessible real-time search (as has been suggested), or builds a more Facebook-like central site that incorporates additional social networking features, the service is destined to max out somewhere around the number of active crackberry users. If Twitter is all about sharing what you’re doing at any given moment, you have to remember you could get the same information about many Americans by just looking at that evening’s TV listings. And those same Americans are probably not texting very much yet. I mean, although a Google exec may be showing a lot of ignorance by calling Twitter just another e-mail service, these Americans we’re talking about are the same people that in a CNN poll responded to the question “Do you use Twitter?” with  6% saying “Yes,” 64% saying “No,” and 30% saying “What’s Twitter?”