Twitter – The New Real Time Market Data Feed
And The Race Is On!
After developing and selling technology for the capital markets and financial services industry, I’ve learned some things about the value of real-time information. The same now seems to hold true for online social information sharing. Let me explain what I mean.
In the world of capital markets which includes brokerages and wirehouses, such as Morgan Stanley, and traditional banks such as Bank of America and Citi, real time information becomes an incredibly valuable commodity (or more precisely necessity). First, the aggregators and distributors of capital markets real time information include the likes of mega-info companies including Thomson-Reuters and Bloomberg. Second, some of the suppliers of this data include stock exchanges such as NYSE. And third, the users of this information include financial traders, mutual fund managers, wealth managers and financial advisors – to name a few. Those users or recipients of this real time information spend a lot of money on purchasing and employing this data to give them an edge about a company or fund that they might invest in (or not).
|Users||Financial Advisors||Retailers, Marketers|
What is evolving analogously in the world of social media is quite similar. While instant messaging was the early leader in delivering real time interpersonal information, it’s the advent of Twitter that is really making this a potential business phenomenon and necessity. Twitter is the supplier of all this instant opinion information.
Just recently, Microsoft and Facebook announced initiatives to aggregate and promote Twitter information. They are the equivalent to Thomson-Reuters at this point. Of course Facebook, not to be outdone, would also like to be a competitive supplier in this market and is now allowing some real time views (aka status updates) of information posted by its 200 million users to be more publicly accessible. While Microsoft, through its new Bing search engine, is providing an index to the most followed Twitterer’s , bringing Twitter information to its search engine in less than a minute (near enough to real time).
So why is this trend important? It may provide businesses and marketers the ability to look at consumer interests, buying patterns and the effects of new product releases in near instantaneous fashion.
There is one issue that should be important to everyone. In the world of capital markets, real time information is about stocks and investments for the most part – relatively innocuous from a personal standpoint. However, in the world of Twitter and Facebook, the information is about us and our behavior. This type of real time market segmentation information has the potential to infringe on our privacy rights. Many of us have already seen our personal data being used for purposes that go beyond our consent. So while I look forward to the next wave of social media progress, we also need to be vigilant in how this affects our social communities and privacy.
Current Trends for Facebook and Twitter