Can Gravity be BIGGER than Twitter?

Today, I received an invite to the new social networking website ‘Gravity’.  It aims to connect people with shared interest and help them spark up conversations.  In their own words:Gravity Logo

Gravity connects you with people you should know and should be talking to because they share your passions.

Since signing up, I’ve decided Gravity could possibly be a rival to fellow social networking website, Twitter – but only if it’s marketed to the correct people.

Why?

I think Gravity does everything Twitter does, but fills in a couple of gaps that could leave first time Tweeters confused. After signing up to Gravity, you’re not left thinking ‘OK, what do I do now’. For that reason, I think Twitter quitters and Twitter avoiders will ‘gravitate’ towards this new site!  (Hahah, get it? Gravitate!)

Why Twitter Quitters will prefer Gravity:

I have dozens of not-too-techy friends who have joined up to Twitter because of the hype.   They’ve joined up to see what it is and they’ve just posted one thing, usually along the lines of:

“I’m on Twitter. So, what do you do now?”

And then they quit.  In fact, a Nielsen report from April last year claimed a staggering 60% of new Twitter users quit after the first month.Gravity Get Started

Some people just don’t get Twitter and they’ll ask stuff like:

  • What’s it meant to be used for?
  • What do you do on it?
  • How do I find people to talk to?

With Gravity, new users bypass those hurdles; right away they can connect to people with similar interests with very little effort.  For example, I invited my Mum so she can talk to people following the Dressage topic in the ‘animal world’ (she’s a horse enthusiast.)  I am currently talking to people about SEO, new technology and blogging.

By using a forum-like structure, Gravity cuts out all of the ‘noise’ of other people’s off-topic conversations.  You won’t read what everybody’s having for lunch, unless you go and visit the ‘food’ section of the site and actively participate in that particular discussion.

You’re ‘pulling’ what you want out of the site while finding like-minded people who share your interests.  It’s something that is very appealing about Twitter in theory, but in reality is harder to do.  It can take you ages to find decent people on Twitter and have a conversation.  Especially if you don’t already know people using the site in the first place!

It’s easier to get chatting on Gravity:

Conversation on Gravity is MUCH easier to follow.  I find it hard to keep track of Twitter conversations sometimes, even when using an app like Tweetdeck.

Starting conversations is easier too, as you’ll be tweeting it to a board of people who are likely to be interested in your topic, thus they’re more likely to reply.Gravity People

This is unlike Twitter, where you simply broadcast your message out and hope your followers (or random people) will reply.  Often responses are few and far between for newbie’s on Twitter as they only have a handful of followers.

As you interact with the site more, Gravity starts recommending topics you’ll probably be interested in.  Each topic will have lots of lovely people participating in them, making it easy for people to meet more like-minded people.

Reward based system:

Gravity allows people to collect shiny badges for their profiles.  While at first this isn’t the number one reason for using Gravity, it certainly will help first time users start to interact with the site more giving them reason to explore.  The more you do, the more badges you get.  Clever, eh?

But, wait?  Isn’t this just a forum?

Essentially, gravity is nothing more than a fancy forum with a fancy recommendation engine and a couple of shiny badges.  It needs to be marketed correctly so people will sign up in droves.

I don’t think marketing it to Twitter/Tech lovers is the way forward:  Hardcore twitter users are happy with what they’ve got.  The secret to Gravity’s success will be marketing to the Twitter Quitters and looking for people ‘who don’t get quitter’ and getting them on board.

I think the video on the homepage nails this effectively.  I got straight away what the site is used for – and the video doesn’t even contain words – it’s fantastic.

Monitising Gravity:

I’ve no idea how Gravity are planning to turn a profit, but with a recommendation engine that knows you’re interests probably better than you do, I think it’d be wise to add some contextual advertising.  For example, Gravity could input a sponsored recommendation tactically for a product or service where people are discussing a particular need.

For example:

X tells Y that they want to set up a new website soon. Gravity knows they like technology and new trends, Gravity shows an advert for cloud hosting.

It’d certainly be better than the ’25 and like pink?’ adverts I get on Facebook!

If Gravity makes enough money without annoying users, it could become extremely profitable, perhaps leveraging it above Twitter.  If Gravity had more users than Twitter and higher rate of participation, would Google, Bing and Yahoo take notice?  Would we instead see a deal for real time ‘Gravity’ search in the search engine results?  Interesting.

Get your hands on a Gravity invite:

As Gravity is currently in private beta, you need to be invited before you sign up.  I still have five invites left if you’d like to give Gravity a try.  The first five people who ask for an invite on this post can have them.

Your opinion:

Do you agree or disagree that Gravity could be bigger than Twitter, if marketed to the Twitter Quitters?  Have you used Gravity yet?  Do you like it or not?

Let me know your comments.

[All images copyright to Gravity and used here for illustration purposes.]

Comments

  1. I’ll have an invite Carly! Thx!

  2. I'll have an invite Carly! Thx!

  3. Yeah, sure I’ll send an invite, it’ll be later on, after work!

    Quoting Disqus :

  4. Your post is actually the first I've heard of Gravity. I read the info about it on their site, and it actually sounds pretty interesting…especially the emphasis on real conversation (a welcome contrast to the content on Twitter). I'd like an invite if you still got some. :)

  5. Your post is actually the first I've heard of Gravity. I read the info about it on their site, and it actually sounds pretty interesting…especially the emphasis on real conversation (a welcome contrast to the content on Twitter). I'd like an invite if you still got some. :)

  6. Yeah, sure I'll send an invite, it'll be later on, after work!

    Quoting Disqus <>:

  7. Hi Pinksy, I’ll gladly send you an invite but I don’t have your email address – it’s not included in your comment (In the admin, it says ‘not available.’)

    If you’d like the invite, just email me – address is me(@)supercarly.co.uk

  8. hahaha, no I meant you can choose which worlds you’d like to ‘orbit.’ Though drum up enough support and they might approve you a ‘Darren world!’

  9. I've now sent the invite. I accidentally invited you to advertising world, meant to click SEO world. Never mind – you can choose yourself anyway.

  10. I've now sent the invite. I accidentally invited you to advertising world, meant to click SEO world. Never mind – you can choose yourself anyway.

  11. Hi Pinksy, I'll gladly send you an invite but I don't have your email address – it's not included in your comment (In the admin, it says 'not available.')

    If you'd like the invite, just email me – address is me(@)supercarly.co.uk

  12. Choose myself…as in…Darren World? 😉

    Thanks for the invite.

  13. Choose myself…as in…Darren World? 😉

    Thanks for the invite.

  14. hahaha, no I meant you can choose which worlds you'd like to 'orbit.' Though drum up enough support and they might approve you a 'Darren world!'

  15. What you don't realize is that the 2 services are entirely different. Twitter is a micro-blogging service thats aimed at people wanting to share what they're doing in a minimal form. Gravity is a fancy forum in which people that have the same interests can communicate. Why you're comparing the two and saying “Could Gravity be bigger than Twitter?” is beyond me, because they are in no way similar.

  16. What you don't realize is that the 2 services are entirely different. Twitter is a micro-blogging service thats aimed at people wanting to share what they're doing in a minimal form. Gravity is a fancy forum in which people that have the same interests can communicate. Why you're comparing the two and saying “Could Gravity be bigger than Twitter?” is beyond me, because they are in no way similar.

  17. I'm comparing them because they're both social platforms, where people connect with others.

    Gravity may be a 'conversation engine' and Twitter a 'microblogging service' but in my view Gravity will pick up all of those Twitter Quitters who sign up, think 'what the hell is the point of this?' and leave Twitter.

    That's probably because those people don't want to microblog and they're not sure how to converse (The Twitterverse is very large – where do you start?)

    Additionally, I see FAR more people using Twitter to crowdsource and converse than to update me with 'what they're doing.' I do think it will only be a matter of time until Gravity add a status updating and direct messaging option, which then I feel will eradicate my need for Twitter (this is assuming all of my current Twitter friends were on Gravity.)

    Thanks for your comment!

  18. I'm comparing them because they're both social platforms, where people connect with others.

    Gravity may be a 'conversation engine' and Twitter a 'microblogging service' but in my view Gravity will pick up all of those Twitter Quitters who sign up, think 'what the hell is the point of this?' and leave Twitter.

    That's probably because those people don't want to microblog and they're not sure how to converse (The Twitterverse is very large – where do you start?)

    Additionally, I see FAR more people using Twitter to crowdsource and converse than to update me with 'what they're doing.' I do think it will only be a matter of time until Gravity add a status updating and direct messaging option, which then I feel will eradicate my need for Twitter (this is assuming all of my current Twitter friends were on Gravity.)

    Thanks for your comment!

  19. I just read the whole post, I got into Gravity today and I think is really interesting. I've been using Twitter and it fills my expectations, I think that it's really cool to be able to write complete ideas in 140 characters, but Gravity goes beyond that and I'm lovin' it xD

  20. I just read the whole post, I got into Gravity today and I think is really interesting. I've been using Twitter and it fills my expectations, I think that it's really cool to be able to write complete ideas in 140 characters, but Gravity goes beyond that and I'm lovin' it xD

  21. Yeah, it's pretty great. I like being able to talk to people about all different things without the noise of things I'm not interested in.

    My strong feeling is that the people who QUIT Twitter because they've no idea what it's meant to be used for (I'd say 8 out of 10 of my friends who joined have quit) will prefer gravity because they can get a lot out of it: actually, they'll get everything they expected out of Twitter AND it's easier to get it.

    Thanks for the comment and the orbit :-)

  22. Yeah, it's pretty great. I like being able to talk to people about all different things without the noise of things I'm not interested in.

    My strong feeling is that the people who QUIT Twitter because they've no idea what it's meant to be used for (I'd say 8 out of 10 of my friends who joined have quit) will prefer gravity because they can get a lot out of it: actually, they'll get everything they expected out of Twitter AND it's easier to get it.

    Thanks for the comment and the orbit :-)

  23. I agree that Twitter and Gravity are two different social services meant to accomplish two different things. Twitter is more like a broadcasting platform than a way to really have a full-blown conversation with someone, exactly why it's perfect for breaking news, and other updates. Gravity is more in-depth and compartmentalized.

    I can also certainly see how Twitter quitters can move on to Gravity after they wonder what to use it for.

    But I feel there's something missing from this conversation.

    Gravity is a place to meet NEW people over the internet. I'm not sure how many people are open to that idea. What made Facebook huge was establishing existing groups of people into online networks that branched out into bigger ones. Friend of friends became linked, and within a few years over 400 million user are on Facebook. That's a different kind of social experience than Gravity promises.

    Right from their About Gravity page:

    “Gravity connects people with shared interests and helps them engage in meaningful and fun conversations. While social networks are great for connecting you with people you already know, Gravity connects you with people you SHOULD know and SHOULD be talking to because they share your passions.”

    Sure, they have the option once you sign up to find existing friends, but the central idea it to make new ones. I can see that being a problem for new users…that it's less focused on their already established base of friends.

    But who knows? Maybe people will see Gravity as not a replacement for Facebook or Twitter, but a compliment to it. That's how I currently use it (mostly with Facebook).

  24. I agree that Twitter and Gravity are two different social services meant to accomplish two different things. Twitter is more like a broadcasting platform than a way to really have a full-blown conversation with someone, exactly why it's perfect for breaking news and other updates. Gravity is more in-depth and compartmentalized.

    I can also certainly see how Twitter quitters can move on to Gravity after they wonder what to use it for.

    But I feel there's something missing from this conversation.

    Gravity is a place to meet NEW like-minded people over the internet. I'm not sure how many people are open to that idea. What made Facebook huge was establishing existing groups of people into online networks that branched out into bigger ones. Friend of friends became linked, and within a few years over 400 million user are on Facebook. That's a different kind of social experience than Gravity promises.

    Right from their About Gravity page:

    “Gravity connects people with shared interests and helps them engage in meaningful and fun conversations. While social networks are great for connecting you with people you already know, Gravity connects you with people you SHOULD know and SHOULD be talking to because they share your passions.”

    Sure, they have the option once they sign up to find existing friends, but the central idea is to make new ones. I can see that being a problem for new users…that it's less focused on their already established base of friends.

    But who knows? Maybe people will see Gravity as not a replacement for Facebook or Twitter, but a compliment to it. That's how I currently use it (mostly with Facebook).

  25. orangemonkey says:

    yes please Carly Wood i'd like to check it out

  26. orangemonkey says:

    yes please Carly Wood i'd like to check it out

  27. They've actually taken it out of private beta today, so you can sign up without the invite: but I've sent you one anyway :)

  28. They've actually taken it out of private beta today, so you can sign up without the invite: but I've sent you one anyway :)

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