Ford F 150, the biggest Twiter client yet. Image by selfhatingotaku.
Twitter Friday is alive and kicking! Welcome back in 2010! The column paused for two weeks in a row simply due to the holidays taking place both on a Friday. Many people didn’t tweet during the Holiday season anyways so it wasn’t that bad, was it?
Of course plenty of things happened anyways but I want to skip them and write about something that struck me as a very important novelty. Ford goes Twitter.
Well, you probably think, “they’re quite late”. It’s not what you think though. Ford goes Twitter in a whole different way. Ford has been using Twiter succesfully for business for quite a while. Now they take the next logical step. They add Twitter by default to their cars along with other services like Pandora e.g.
Now who cares about Twitter in your car you might ask? Why the hell should someone tweet while driving, or rather get their tweets read for them? It might even be dangerous.
While it’s important not to distract drivers too much Twitter is certainly less distracting than using a phone. It’s comparable to listening to the radio on the road. So it’s not a coincidence that the other tow apps Ford introduces allow to listen to music and the radio.
This post is not about the safety ramifications of Twitter usage in a car. It’s about the business ramifications of it. Well, Ford is, despite the current crisis, still the best selling American car maker after GM and Toyota. The most popular car in the US is a huge Ford pickup, the Ford F. In the UK Ford is hugely popular as well despite ending production here in 2002. In Europe Ford is the second biggest automaker behind VW (Volkswagen Seat, Skoda).
So all these tens of thousands of cars will come with Twitter installed by default. I expect the other car manufacturers to follow soon. This means that Twitter will really go prime time beyond Oprah.
From now on you won’t need to become a nerd and use computers or smartphones to tweet. Your car will tweet for you.
Twitter will become as common as radio. In a way it will become the personalized semi-private talk radio for everybody. Truckers won’t use CB radio they will tweet.
Also people will do “drive by tweeting”. They will drive by your business or drive through your town and tweet about the service or lack of it they’ve experienced while there. Would it be wise to ignore radio in the thirties and TV in the fifties? You might want to step up your Twitter marketing efforts a bit from now on and target not only the geeky “twenty somethings”.
Lets just hope you don’t get caught for any motoring offences!