But it doesn't matter that nobody will ever be able to charge for Twitter. Nobody will ever be able to steal Twitter's user base. It's not about monetizing. First you have to get the community.
Bullshit. See that guy?
With the pool cue?
No. On TV. Fifty Cent.
What about Fifty Cent?
You can build Fifty Cent a private Twitter with SMS for next to nothing. And for Fifty Cent there's more value in a private Twitter that only keeps him in touch with his music industry and marketing peeps than a public Twitter with the biggest user base. In terms of delivering real value, a large user base is not necessarily useful. If you're famous, the larger the social network, the lower the probability that you'll be able to use it as a social networking tool. I mean it's commoditization gone insane, isn't it? Those monkeys on TechCrunch say that a social network site hasn't arrived until somebody else has reduced it to a code generator. But if you can reduce it to a code generator, then it's not just arrived, it's been reduced to a formula.
And all your friends are on it.
Because you're a fucking Web developer. None of Fifty Cent's friends are on it. And Fifty Cent's got an interesting set of friends. Ever see that picture of Fifty Cent hugging Bill Gates? Fifty Cent's friends split evenly down the line between ghetto fabulous and corporate thieves. In either case there's massive value for someone like Fifty Cent if he can get always-on near-instant micro-blogging via SMS with all his most crucial associates, but that value only exists if the network is private. Being able to make your updates private is not enough. The entire conversation needs to be contained.
Yeah but how much money could there be in building a Twitter for Fifty Cent?
How much money? How much fucking money? Have you seen MTV Cribs?