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Today may very well be the end of an era. Actor Ashton Kutcher, the first man to reach 1 million Twitter followers, and Twitter co-founder Ev Williams are going on The Oprah Winfrey show today to talk about the microblogging service, and it looks like Winfrey has started tweeting (she’s already approaching 120,000 followers).
I’ve been keeping my head down during most of the furor around Kutcher’s successful attempt to beat CNN breaking news to 1 million followers. I’m not above celebrity news or anything, I just prefer my celebrities to be more obviously talented, entertainingly messed up, or both. But now that the whole boring story is approaching its climax, I’ve realized that it may be more significant than I first thought — just as being featured on the cover of Time Magazine means that a fad has probably peaked, I think an appearance on Oprah means an emerging tech trend is officially over. Not that Twitter won’t continue growing (obviously, Oprah will bring hundreds of thousands, if not millions, more members to the site, just as she drove tons of sales for Amazon’s Kindle), but at this point it’s officially impossible for anyone, especially a tech blog, to pretend there’s anything shiny and new about Twitter.
In other words, we’ll still cover the company as a business and as a powerful tool, but hopefully we’ll see a sharp reduction in “Wow! Twitter!” stories. These are the stories that treat the service as an exciting novelty that you still need to explain to people, the kind of story that TechCrunch mocked hilariously in a one-word post last year. The next time you see a post breathlessly exclaiming, “Politicians are on Twitter! Celebrities are on Twitter! You can find news on Twitter!” or whatever, please leave the following comment: “Dude, Twitter was on Oprah. ‘Nuff said.” And yes, that includes posts on VentureBeat.
At least Kutcher isn’t getting too big-headed about his accomplishment. In response to a tweet declaring him the “King of Twitter,” he said, “There are no kings on Twitter, only jesters.” Yes, exactly.
You can find me on Twitter here along with fellow VentureBeatniks Eric Eldon, Dean Takahashi, Camille Ricketts, Terrence Russell, Dan Kaplan and Matt Marshall. We have a VentureBeat account (for our posts) as well.