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Twitter balancing its power users and drive to be a 'force for good'

via <a href="">Flickr</a>
via Flickr

Joe Hogan's got a fascinating profile on Twitter in this week's New York Magazine that shows the company balancing its insatiable need for power users, growing pains, and oddly Google-esque drive to be a "force for good." For all that Twitter's done in providing a fast and light communication platform, it's easy to forget just how insular a community it can be; a Yahoo study earlier this year revealed 50% of the Tweets consumed come from an elite group of 20,000 users. While not the rule, users tend to organize around subjects and not varied groups of people; in other words, bloggers follow bloggers, and celebrities follow celebrities. Twitter's employees were surprisingly candid to New York Magazine's Joe Hogan about how much they've catered to its essential media-celebrity-blogger core—think Hollywood and D.C. offices, consultants for CNN and other news agencies, and pitches to the likes of Obama and James Franco.

Even CEO Dick Costolo admits the huge gap "between awareness of Twitter and engaged on Twitter," so it's hard not see the company's huge efforts to target influencers as somewhat icky when touted externally as attempting to advance freedom of communication. Granted, without this group, Twitter is in danger of becoming a content wasteland like MySpace, so it's understandable that it's been working with everyone from Congress to hot brands to make Twitter seem like an "inevitable" part of the future.