To be successful and to keep users coming back for more so-called microblogging services, of which Twitter is probably the most well known have to be useful, easy to use and be enjoyable otherwise new users will abandon the service before they become fully engaged in the community.
As with much on the Internet, especially in the web 2.0 age of user-generated and user-aggregated content as opposed to the original more static and less interactive websites of the 1990s, services come and go. Here's a short list of sites that offer users the ability to post short updates and links – to micro blog – in other words: Blauk, Facebook, Google+, Heello, ImaHima, MeetMe, Plurk, Soup, Tout, Tumblr, Twitter and Weibo. Which ones have you used? Were you an early adopter, did you stick with them or move on to the next best thing as soon as it popped up in public beta?
Regardless, research published in the International Journal of Electronic Business, by Chien-Lung Hsu of the Department of Marketing Management at Takming University of Science and Technology in Taipei City, Taiwan, and colleagues suggests that microblogging is still growing apace and that more and more people are trying out services like Twitter and Google+. Whether they continue to use these services after an initial personal trial period is a different matter, despite what the companies that host the services will tell you about the number of active subscribers or users.
A standardized survey of hundreds of microbloggers (500+ in Taiwan) revealed to Hsu and colleagues what might seem obvious. If there is a sense of community identity, if the service is easy to use and if it is also enjoyable to participate then users will stick around.
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"The effect of community identity on continuance intention of microblogging" in Int. J. Electronic Business, 2013, 10, 355-382www.inderscience.com/jhome.php?jcode=ijeb