WASHINGTON (AFP) – Is Twitter’s stock offering the end of the social media era, or just the beginning?
While Twitter appears to have carved out its niche in the social Internet, a big question now is how much growth and innovation remains in the space.
Charlene Li at Altimeter Group sees a “last call” mentality around Twitter’s initial public offering (IPO).
“Twitter is the last of the Big Four to go public,” she said on her blog.
“In the social networking ecosystem, Twitter is seen as a must have in terms of a social strategy, and is the only major player left that is still up for grabs — YouTube (owned by Google), LinkedIn (IPO), and Facebook (IPO) are all spoken for. Other upstarts like Pinterest are just getting started so Twitter is going to be the talk of the town into 2014.”
Trip Chowdhry at Global Equities Research said Twitter may be the final social media IPO.
“The Twitter IPO symbolizes this industry is coming to an end, and future investments will be in some industry we don’t know,” he told AFP.
But others who watch social media say Twitter and others have just scratched the surface of the sector’s potential.
“We’re far from the end in innovation,” said Daniel Odio, an executive at the California-based Internet firm Share This, who has been involved in a number of technology startups.
“I believe we are in the Dark Ages of social, there is so much opportunity,” he added.
“The whole fabric of our existence is based on sharing, but digitally we haven’t really cracked the code. Facebook has done part of this, and Twitter has created the ability to find people who are not your friends but who share a common interest… that’s why Twitter is good at disrupting governments.”
A 2012 report by McKinsey Global Institute suggests social media is just getting started.
The report said social networking can increase productivity and “unlock value” to the tune of $900 billion to $1.3 trillion in key segments of the world economy.