As a recent Twitter convert, the rapid adoption of the application has me intrigued. Unlike what basic marketing principles tell you to do, Twitter does not seem to market towards any need whatsoever and targets no one in particular. It’s just there.

There is no public mission statement, and there is really nothing to even tell you why you’d want use it. Their about page tells you basically nothing other than where they are located and when they launched. The homepage gives you two simple sentences:

“A global community of friends and strangers answering one simple question: What are you doing? Answer on your phone, IM, or right here on the web!”

But where’s the draw? That tells me what it does, but not why. Up until now, nobody really had a need to constantly update the world on what they’re doing that instant. And if they did, there were phones, email, newsgroups, blogs, and IM for that. Furthermore, I don’t think anybody really cared what others were doing every minute of their life.

Yet regardless, it quickly caught on and spread rapidly, and something interesting happened: People saw the power of the technology and found needs themselves that it could fill. While many saw it simply as another way to waste time, John Edwards decided it was a good promotional tool, CNN thought they’d keep you posted, and Lifehacker sees it as a possible todo list/people manager/newsletter.

From what I can tell, rather than Obvious (the creators of Twitter) deciding what needs to fill then marketing to them (what is usually recommended when launching anything), they simply launched an amazing bit of technology and people latched onto it and created their own needs.

That’s not something that happens very often, and I’ll be interested to see how long it can last. swan