Has the Twitter backlash started?

Since 2007, Twitter has been on a steadily rising growth curve but now research company RJ Metrics draws attention to the fact that things are on the decline.

The company says that the rate of growth has slowed down considerably, with new users signing up at of 6.2 million users and, furthermore, the number of tweets being sent on the decline has lead some commentators, here, here, and here to talk about Twitter's decline.

But let's put this into perspective: Twitter has 75 million users - if "only" 17 percent of these members sent messages in December, that's still 12.75 million Twitterers sending messages right in the middle of Christmas month - that's not exactly a tiny group.It should also be noted that the number of users is still riding like a climate change hockey-stick (with unmassaged figures).

Twitter is still very much a new medium and it's hard to draw any reasonable conclusions after such short a time: maybe it will settle down with "just" 20 million committed users - most companies would kill for access to an audience that size. Or maybe it will grow and grow after this temporary blip. To its credit, RJ Metrics points out that with the size of its user base, Twitter could scarcely be considered a failure yet. Or maybe it will just die a death when the new, new thing comes along.

Somehow I doubt this will be the case: Twitter has tapped into a need for people to communicate quickly in this round-the-clock, must-have-it-now world. Businesses haven't really clocked how to use it yet but they're already beginning to explore ways, so it's far too early to consign Twitter to the dustbin -;just ask Imogen Heap.