It sounds like a made-for-TV-knockoff of Sharknado spliced with an after school special about the dangers of social media. But the truth is much less action packed. Tweetstorm was made popular by Marc Andreessen, a renowned Silicon Valley investor with a thing for twitter rants.
Ranting on Twitter is nothing new. But what Andreessen popularized was the idea that successive tweets on the same topic could be threaded together to form a – you guessed it – Tweetstorm.
Early on, Tweetstorms were characterized through numbering. They’d normally start off with a “1/”, letting followers know a rant was incoming with some sort of windup or open-ended question, but with no clear indication of when it would end.
1. I wrote my PhD dissertation on the social function of humor (in literature & film) and here's the thing about "just joking."
— Jason P. Steed (@5thCircAppeals) August 9, 2016
It was a devilishly simple way to take a platform built for throw-away 140 character thoughts and transform it into a highly viral blogging platform. Twitter loyalists touted it as the evolution of the platform, but it wasn’t for everyone.
Tech journalists hated it, and howled that it was the death of the platform. Oh, they couldn’t have been more wrong.
Back in December, Twitter added the much hyped “thread tool” and now tweetstorms are here to stay. Now anyone can fire up the twitter app and thread enourmous tweetstorms together by simply pressing the plus button in the tweet composer.
If you’re new to tweetstorms, you don’t have to feel rushed to thread that next tweet before the replies start rushing in. And if your a stormin’ savant, you can sit back and craft long threads filled with links, rich media, and emojis to make your thread really come to life.
So now the question becomes, with Twitter expanding their character count to 280 and unveiling a new threading tool to make tweetstorms accessible for everyone, are blogging platforms going the way of the dodo?
Twitter still lacks the deep web analytics of traditional blogging platforms, but it’s been long overdue for an upgrade. So I wouldn’t be surprised to see a big announcement even as early as December 2018.
With attention spans on social dwindling by the day, Twitter could be making a smart move into the micro-blogging ecosystem. Or at least making it easier for more consumers and brands to take advantage of the THREAD craze.
But even if threads are the hot new thing, will readers engage? I bet you didn’t even realize that each paragraph of this blog was short enough to fit into one 280 character tweet. So, the real question is: if this blog was a tweetstorm, would you have still read it?
I guess there’s only one way to find out.