I feel that this unfairly characterizes the service, because it misses a critical component. For many, Twitter is a very personal experience -- all predicated on a user's ability to choose whom to follow and un-follow.
This "it's personal" theme is something that Lisa Finn and I kept finding in research we did for a new report, "Marketing to Moms on Twitter, 2010 Survey Results & Report."
We found that moms certainly want relevant information and links, and they appreciate tweets that offer good deals, giveaways, and coupons, but most of all they want to get a sense that there are people with interesting personalities behind the company.
One mom, in her own words, summed it up nicely in that she follows companies that are "personable and reach out to their customers on more of a friendship level than [a] customer level."
This sentiment certainly can play a significant factor in a company's strategy for effectively leveraging Twitter. Sixty percent of moms un-follow businesses when the tweets are "boring or have no personality." Conversely, 60% say they re-tweet "funny tweets" from businesses.
This is not a minor thing, as moms who use Twitter are on the site at all hours of the day and night; more than half (54%) check their Twitter feeds 10 or more times daily!
Moms are very open to meeting new people on Twitter; 77% cite networking as the reason they use the site most often. Keeping up with news and current events (60%) and finding out about new products or keeping up with businesses they like (53%) are also important.
Twitter offers marketers a valuable opportunity to interact with moms in a fresh, informal way. The medium itself, with its 140-character limit, sets a friendly, casual tone, and moms are especially receptive to companies whose Twitter presence is personable and interactive.