The new Twitter Blackberry app is game changing. Yes, I said it.
It moves the needle.It is the biggest innovation in notifications since Facebook blew up.
Notifications are the lifeblood of any online business. They are what keeps you coming back, plugged into the application and engaged. And notifications for the last 15 years have been primarily driven by email. You get an email when there’s a sale at Amazon, when someone adds a picture or comments on something, when there’s a new video, or when you haven’t been to your favourite site in a while and they want you back. Companies spend significant resources with third party providers making sure all those emails are targeted, tracked and delivered.
The amazing innovation of Facebook in that realm was those notifications that appeared on your Facebook page. There would be no explosion of social games without those notifications about gifts, invites, and new stuff in the game. They generated significant viral growth and retention. So everyone rushed to stuff the channel, both on and off of Facebook (through Facebook Connect). When on March 1, 2010 Facebook took down notifications, an amazing channel was lost and game makers and everyone else wrung their hands.
Sure there was Twitter, and Twitter was a good channel for all those notifications as well as sales at Amazon and so forth. But Twitter is a stream and if you didn’t happen to look when the notification was posted, it probably passed you by. And there’s SMS too, but it’s expensive and annoying to end users.
But the new Twitter app by Blackberry completely changes the game. It takes a never ending Twitter stream, and delivers it real time to your Blackberry inbox but not your desktop email client. So when you are at your computer, you are not flooded with Twitter emails or annoyed that your inbox is cannibalised. But when you’re out, and checking emails on your Blackberry, there it is telling you there are new Tweets.
You can ignore it if you want. But if you open it, the Tweets are right there – as if you are reading a living, moving stream from within your email. It’s not really email, and it’s not really a dedicated Twitter client. It’s something in between. And it’s the most innovative notification tool I’ve seen in a long time.
Dan Porter is CEO of fun games site www.omgpop.com. He is also an investor in songkick, producteev, linguabyte and socialflow. You can follow him on twitter at @tfadp and find him at www.danporter.org
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