Is the Twitter Peek the least useful mobile device ever?

November 3, 2009 by Lisa Oshima | Uncategorized

twitter-peek-fail2Today, Peek Inc. launched the Twitter Peek – a mobile gadget that gives you access to Twitter on the go.

What else does it do besides Twitter? Err… not much. According to the website, you can view Twitpics from the device, and according to its website, one day, Peek Inc. plans “to add support for previewing links in the near future” (no promises when).  The device looks like a mobile phone, and it comes in a pretty, ‘Twitter blue’ color, but it doesn’t allow you to make call, browse the web, or check emails.

The Twitter Peek costs $99, which includes 6 months of ‘service’.  Alternatively, you can pay $199 for a lifetime of service.   Why would anyone want to pay for a Twitter Peek?  If you’re willing to spend $199 on a mobile device plus service, why buy a Twitter only device when you could buy a cheap, used, internet-enabled smartphone from eBay, load it with a free (or cheap Twitter mobile app – or check a Twitter mobile site like Dabr.co.uk) and sign up for a cheap pay-as-you go voice and data plan?  Doing this would likely be cheaper than buying a Twitter Peek and allow you to make phone calls, browse the web, and use other apps.

Who is going to buy the Twitter Peek?  I’m struggling to think of a notable demographic.  The device is only available in the US, where most anyone that’s heard of Twitter has  access to it at home, school, and/or their local library, if not on their mobile phone.  One of the best parts about Twitter is being able to share and get web links from friends, and this device can’t access the web yet (beyond TwitPic).

The only groups of people that I can think might be interested in owning this device are:

  • Twitter “power users”… Though, if you believe the reviews on TechCrunch, Mashable and others, it’s not particularly useful for Twitter users that are following lots of people because it makes all sorts of noises (buzz…tweet).  And, I bet most of the Twitter power users out there already have an internet-enabled mobile phone.
  • Gadget geeks…Though at least 99% of geeks probably agree with me… This device is silly.
  • Kids whose parents won’t let them have a mobile phone: But, wait, kids don’t use Twitter!

nielsen-unique-visitors-twitter-age-demographic-february-2009

This brings me to the only other demographic that I can think of that might just think this a good idea:

  • Those who are unfamiliar with technology but have heard about Twitter from their kids or grand kids (i.e. a tiny subset of the 50-120 year old demographic).  The only problem is that the screen and buttons on the Twitter Peek are probably too small for this demographic.  And, if seniors were the target, Twitter would have been better off launching a voice-only “Twitterbug” service through Jitterbug.

If the Twitter Peek included a browser, email, and Twitter, it would have a lot more legs (check out the feature phones with Twitter that INQ Mobile is making).  In it’s current form, I don’t think it will be long before you’re seeing the Twitter Peek at your local TJ Maxx, Tuesday Morning, Ross, or neighborhood landfill… #Fail.

twitter-peek-fail2

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