If you want to promote your products or services, or simply share a good wisecrack, a political observation, an interesting link or awesome photo from Twitter -- reaching someone who isn't on Twitter -- you'll soon have an easy solution.
In its first big effort to expand the world of tweeting outside the Twitterverse, the "microblogging" social network giant is slowly rolling out the ability to share via e-mail.
Recruiting Free Marketers
In a Twitter blog post, Stefan Filip, an engineer on the Growth Team, notes that this is a cool way to share with people who aren't on Twitter "yet."
"You can email a Tweet to anyone, whether they use Twitter or not, right from your Twitter stream or from the details view of any Tweet," he writes. "Just click on the "More" icon next to the reply, retweet and favorite buttons in order to email a Tweet to anyone you know. You can add your own comment, and we'll send an email with your comment and the Tweet together. Just like that."
There was no information about how soon the feature would be available.
Twitter recently added sponsored tweets to generate revenue. But since its launch on July 15, 2006, it hasn't changed much from its original configuration, though applications like TweetDeck add functionality, such as the ability to add columns based on hashtags or tweet simultaneously from more than one account.
Facebook, on the other hand, seems to be in a constant state of flux, adding improved e-mail functionality, group settings, video chatting and constantly redesigning its basic format, including the controversial Timeline on user profiles.
With an estimated half-billion user accounts, about half of Facebook's total, Twitter appears to be having some growing pains, and the e-mail linkage is one way to recruit users as ambassadors.
An Aspiring 'Information Channel'
"My belief is they hope to expand their user base," said Rebecca Lieb, a digital advertising and social media expert at the Altimeter Group. "By allowing sharing via e-mail, users can share the value/interest in Twitter with non-members."
Lieb noted that Twitter already allows sharing, or "broadcasting" tweets to their Facebook accounts "and technologies such as Mass Relevance are putting tweets on TV screens and digital billboards. The more ubiquitous tweets become, the more Twitter will be viewed as a necessary information channel by users -- and potential users."
Technology consultant and commentator Jeff Kagan said Twitter was feeling the heat of competition at a time when people get bored easily.
"The Twitter of tomorrow will look nothing like the Twitter of yesterday," Kagan told us.
"All Twitter-like services must continue to innovate. They must stay relevant. The marketplace changes, so the services must change. The changes are not as important for older customers as it is for younger users. Twitter could remain as is, but if it does, it does not grow as quickly. It is at risk from newer competitors."