What is Twitter?
If you have a business idea and your target market was about 150 million people from all around the world, or you had information that you wanted to share with a similar number of people spread across the globe, Twitter would be a good place to get your audience. It is one of the biggest social networks that we have today and is continually growing. Letting you maintain a real time connection with others by sharing information on what is happening around you while also keeping tabs on happenings in any part of the world.
Twitter was created in 2006 by Jack Dorsey and has gone on to become the third largest social network site we have today. It is a free service through which users create profiles through which they can post messages known as tweets. Each tweet can only be 140 characters long and the messages are publicly visible unless settings are changed to restrict viewing to a list of friends. This is also sometimes referred to as micro blogging since users will be post a sort of mini blog on happenings around them and in their lives without taking up too much time or effort. Most users do it for fun though there are those who tweet for business. You can follow stories about others and they too can follow your stories. It is a great way to interact with people you would normally not interact with as well as stay informed.
There are many companies that have embraced Twitter as a means of sharing and collecting information. Most media houses and entertainment companies use Twitter to either share or gather news stories. Due to its instantaneous nature, information on Twitter will go around the world and back in a matter of minutes. It is also a great way to gather opinions from a diverse group of individuals who may have nothing in common apart from the fact that they are all on Twitter. Politicians have also taken up the use of Twitter in campaigns with a good example being the 2008 US presidential elections where Barak Obama used Twitter to effectively reach people around the country.
Due to the length of messages exchanged on Twitter being restricted to 140 characters, it has sometimes been called the internet SMS. Majority of those who use Twitter are young people looking to keep in touch with family and friends or simply looking for gossip and news on celebrities and the like. There are however a good number of Twitter users who have made excellent commercial use of the site by sharing information on their products or services with potential clients while also conducting market research.
Though there are those that dismiss it as a forum for rumors and idle talk and with many offices and even some governments banning some of its pages, those who know how to use Twitter and other social networking sites have made significant inroads in getting their message to large groups of people at minimal cost and in real time.