I have no interest in investing in IPOs, so I won't be buying Twitter's. It may do fine, who knows?
I do have an interest in trying to figure out how durable companies' competitive advantage is. When I think of Twitter, one obvious comparison is Facebook.
Facebook went through a much maligned IPO, it came public in the high 30s, cratered down south of 20, and was last seen heading north of 50.
Of course, short term price movers are about sentiment, Facebook rules ($38 at IPO)! Facebook sucks ($19)! Facebook rules ($50)! But this is so much noise, the important part is the moat which is determined by the competitive advantage. A big part of this is stickiness.
To me, Facebook does have a certain amount of stickiness. I am not a Facebook user, but its users upload gobs and gobs of stuff. The sheer amount of stuff, the dialogs around this leads users to 1) come back and 2) makes it hard for them to pick up and move.
I am a Twitter user (@oneraindrop) so I know more about that one. I enjoy it, but I can easily go days without worrying about checking Twitter. More to the point, I don't put much effort into maintaining twitter feeds, I do not often go back and check old tweets, and most importantly if a better messaging tool came along, how hard would it be to move to it? I think the time spent moving to a new messaging client would be measured in minutes and the end experience could likely be similar to Twitter.
Moving off of Facebook, would take much, much longer, and you would have to rebuild deeper relationships. Whereas Twitter is very point in time, so it would just be pointing your new messaging client at the next messaging service, and you are up to speed on the conference conversation or whatever. People have whole parts of their lives, family, vacation, illnesses and more on Facebook, its a real snapshot of their personal history and it exists on Facebook. Whereas, on Twitter do people worry much about perserving who tweeted what at a conference in 2009? I suspect Twitter's move to Favorites is one attempt to make it stickier, but again - anyone use del.icio.us recently?
Maybe I am missing something, may they do, but it sure looks to me like Facebook has created a way stickier long term relationship. What do you think? Am I missing something on Twitter's stickiness?