Twitter Backlash Starts

With most things “trendy”, there is a fairly consistent cycle of popularity:

First, there are the people setting the trends.

Next, there are the masses who flock to adopt the new trends.

Eventually, the trend setters look around, realize their parents are doing what they do and move onto the next trend.

Then the masses who were professing their love for the new trend drop it as quickly as they picked it up. They scoff at their once beloved trend and move onto where the trendsetters are now.

The circle then repeats.

While music and clothes have followed this cycle for years, social networks are the latest to be hit. Take Twitter. Twitter has been around for several years in tech circles. However, in the past 16-18 months, it’s popularity has exploded into the mainstream, with everyone and their grandparents rushing to twitter.

Now comes word that one of the most popular independent/underground/backpacker rappers in the country, Kid Cudi, has deleted his Twitter account. He cites the need to become more introspective and not shoot out everything on his mind.

What’s amazing about this is that Kid Cudi is exactly the type of user that made Twitter trendy. He became famous by releasing mixtape after mixtape through the internet. Now he’s performing with Kanye West and Lady GaGa. He’s the prototypical artist from the myspace generation. I wonder what’s going to happen when more people follow his lead? Twitter is like any other service / product that relies on the network effect: its value is in the people also using the service. Once no one you interact with is using a service, you will probably anabdon it.

Twitter just announced that they’re raising $100 million in vc capital, which would put their valuation at about $1 Billion. All without turning a profit yet. The guys over at 37 Signals brilliantly lampooned this news by announcing that they’ve raised enough capital to put their valuation at $100 Billion.

If more users like Kid Cudi decide Twitter isn’t for them, one wonders if Twitter will wane with popularity just as quickly as it exploded in popularity.