I’m getting a fair few Direct Messages and @messages from Twitter friends – and folks like PRs.
They’re using it as an alternative to conventional messaging tools like e-mail.
Is it a good idea?
Perhaps, because Tweets are:
- Short! (mercifully so compared to many emails)
- Intimate, thanks to Twitter’s rules it is very hard to spam someone
- Deniable – Email is pretty reliable these days and false positives in spam filters are rare. Twitter’s flakiness as a message delivery system is therefore potentially useful!
Perhaps not, because:
- Twitter is unreliable – if you want to communicate something important, will Twitter get the job done?
- Twitter messages don’t queue well. Many Twitter clients – and Twitter itself – collects @messages. But while I, for one, process all my emails every day, I might go days without reading every @ message I’ve been sent.
- I have a whole application that collects and stores email and makes them available offline. Most Twitter clients rely on a live link to Twitter and do not store many messages, reducing the chance I will read a tweet vs. reading an email.
- Direct Messages generate email anyway – so why use Twitter?
- Can you really say that in 140 characters? (Yes, probably, but I am saving that for another post)
What do you think?