Can Twitter withstand the Oprah effect?

April 17, 2009

Can Twitter withstand the Oprah effect? As the mainstream female icon of our generation, Oprah commands a huge following among wives and soccer moms that can make or break any product. Will Twitter be able to handle the traffic from Oprah who has 63,000 followers without even saying a tweet?

Oprah has joined the ranks of celebrities on the micro-blogging service such as Ashton Kutcher, Jimmy Fallon and the real Shaq. She plans to start using the account today on her show as announced on her Facebook page.

She will have Ashton Kutcher on hand tomorrow to show her the ropes as the man that beat CNN to a million followers on Twitter. She’s calling him the King of Twitter, but it can’t be long until she reigns as the Queen.

Twitter has grown by leaps and bounds over the last few months, gaining as many as 5 million new accounts in March alone. Major events such as the legendary SXSW conference have been known to cripple the service and it’s very possible that Oprah’s first day of tweeting could do the same.

Does this mean that we’ll start hearing about Oprah’s trips to the drug store or what she has for lunch every day? It’s possible, but she seems ready to use the service in real time on her show.

While this could flood Twitter with traffic every weekday afternoon, it could also serve as an innovative way to interact directly with her audience on the air. That way she could answer questions and respond to them in real time with fans all around the world.

However there could be trouble if Oprah decides to use the Twitter medium as part of her show. Beyond the possibility of her fans pummeling the site, Twitter is not always filtered for display on national television.

Whether or not Twitter can rise the the occasion, the service is likely to have thousands of new members exploring how to tweet later on today. Just take it easy on the newbies and don’t try to get between them and the big “O.”

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One Response to “Can Twitter withstand the Oprah effect?”

  1. Roger Milson:

    Isn’t anyone interested in what I had for lunch today? I know I’m not Oprah, but I like to think what I have for lunch is as interesting as what anyone else has for lunch.

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