I just had an insight into why I use Twitter. And since a lot of people joke (and trade stocks) thinking about whether or not the service is still relevant in 2017, I thought I'd share it.
It took me 7 years to understand why I use Twitter because I had to go through different phases in my life, both professionally and personally. I joined the service in 2010 and as a user, I've always been ambivalent about Twitter. I sometimes love it, I sometimes find it extremely useless.
There were some phases when I was focused internally (self/family/friends/stable job) and some phases where I was focused externally (new project/new school/new city/new job).
My Twitter usage is directly correlated with my openness to the world.
And there are times when I feel less open than others. Less curious, less sociable, less focused on growth and more focused on doing things I know.
I'm by myself a lot. I need inspiration. I need « company ».
I need to hear chirping.
If you've been working in a 200 person office every day for the last 5 years. You don't need Twitter. There's enough chirping. If you're a new student in a new city studying a new field. You might need twitter. You need to hear chirping.
Conclusion for me: Facebook is a never-ending marathon of low quality socializing with people you know. Twitter is a quick sprint during meaningful moments in your life when you need external input.
If you want to dig in a little bit, there are tons of awesome reads about Twitter. Users, employees, partners and investors are usually extremely passionate about the service. Speaking of which, if you're curious about all the hype the platform gets, I suggest you read What Twitter Can Be by Chriss Sacca. It's a very long read and a thoughtful piece written by an early investor and heavy user who wanted to see the platform succeed. If you're more into drama, the book Hatching Twitter written by Nick Bilton is pretty awesome. It's almost a thriller.
Bonus: I had this song stuck in my head while writing: