Last night Yahoo announced a pretty big partnership deal with Twitter. As Sam Diaz reported, the partnership will eventually allow Yahoo users to access their personal Twitter feeds and more easily share Yahoo content, and the partnership will also integrate Twitter with other Yahoo services, such as search. Diaz expresses an understandable concern over the noise factor that is created with all of these big search companies getting into the social game. While I do agree with his concerns, the more important piece to me is how ordinary this is all making Twitter.
Think about it. A few years ago, Twitter was the new shiny object out of South By Southwest Interactive, mostly buzzing about with early adopters. Twitter adoption increased steadily through 2008 and toward the end of the year, businesses really started to embrace Twitter for customer service, marketing, etc. In 2009, Twitter mania was in full force. Now, in 2010, the service is steadily growing but it has in some ways lost its boom factor. And now, with striking these big partnerships with companies that put Twitter in our faces throughout different aspects of our lives, to me that makes it a lot less special.
Last fall I did a piece on 2010 social media predictions from thought leaders and doers at the forefront of social media for their organizations. One of the overwhelming themes of the prediction story was that social media could -- or should, rather -- reach ubiquity. While social media as a whole hasn't gotten there yet, it appears that Twitter is moving in that direction now that some of its new and shiny appeal has worn off. Don't get me wrong, there is still immense opportunity for Twitter to grow (especially if it ever releases some of the features it has teased in the past). But Twitter is starting to just become part of people's daily lives and every day Web experiences. Pretty soon, using Twitter won't be anything special. It will just be something we do, something that is expected, something that's present at almost every Web site that we visit.
None of this is bad news for Twitter, or its users, even. Becoming a permanent part of the Internet landscape could never be bad for a company, as long as that company knows what to do with its power. We'll see if Twitter steps up.