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Why Twitter Is Like a 7 Year Old Human


This week Twitter turns 7 years old. So let’s use PBS’s child development tracker to see how the social giant compares to an actual 7 year old human.

Image Source: Thinkstock

 ‘Seven-year-olds enjoy having the opportunity to share their knowledge with others.’?

I’m not sure if there’s a more dead-on accurate description of what Twitter is than that.


‘They display a longer attention span’?¦’?

Obviously one of Twitter’s most compelling features is its bite-sized content focus. However, over the past few years Twitter’s increased integration of photos (sorry Instagram) and expandable links directly into the news feed has certainly increased its ability to showcase more content while still remaining true to its 140 character beginnings.


‘Seven-year-olds enjoy having and making friends.”

While this may not exactly speak directly to the growth and development of Twitter, it sure does speak to the over 200 million active users. One of the things that has always driven the popularity of Twitter is the ease of connecting with others and building your following.


‘[They] typically develop several close friendships that are mutual.’?

Over the past 6 months, Twitter has made a few strategic “friendships” (read: acquisitions) that have helped improve how users share content (Vine), how the overall platform performs (Crashlytics) and how Twitter can monetize the millions of conversations generated around TV events (BlueFin Labs).


‘They may imitate the actions of friends in an effort to feel sense of security and belonging.’?

Let’s go back to the monetization discussion again. We can all agree that Facebook is far from perfect when it comes to making money, but Twitter might even be more behind. Here’s a great article that discusses the ‘Facebookification of Twitter‘? and how Twitter is becoming a bit more like Facebook with certain features. And on the user front, I can’t quite think of a better way to imitate the actions of friends and peers than a well-timed RT.


So what do you think? Is Twitter making good strides in its development? Should we look at this 7 year old as a future, well-adjusted adult? Or, are there signs that this little darling will be every parent’s nightmare and someday turn into an out-of-control rebellious tween? Only time will tell.