- Published: Thursday, 06 August 2009 14:42
- Written by Jonathan Walker
None of us know what the future holds. Speculation about the way the internet is going to develop, how people will behave online or where they will get their information from, is little more than guesswork.
Let me give some examples:
As a middle aged man who started using the internet a long time ago (mainly to play Ultima Online rather than do anything useful), I remember when an amazing new piece of software appeared. ICQ was the first popular instant messaging service to run on Windows.
All of a sudden, e-mail seemed slow and cumbersome. Everybody had to have ICQ.
Where is it now? My ICQ buddy list has dwindled over the years, while my Windows Live list has grown.
I'm sure people still use ICQ. According to Digital Trends, it has an estimated 15 million active users.
According to Microsoft, Windows Live is used by 330 million people a month (I'd guess many hundreds of millions more have it installed and never use it).
I don't know where Digital Trends gets its figures from, but I doubt anyone who uses instant messaging much is going to disagree that ICQ has been overshadowed.
So, will this happen to Twitter? I doubt it, but I don't know. Neither do you. Let's see what happens when Twitter is sold to AOL while Microsoft and Google launch their joint-venture micro-blogging service.