Twitter is a social networking site with a twist. Twitter offers users the ability to connect with friends, coworkers, and clients by answering one simple question: What are you doing?
The catch, however, is that the question must be answered in 140 characters or less – including spaces.
The answer to this question is known as a tweet. Tweets can be simple sentences, short links to other webpages, or links to pictures. Users of Twitter subscribe to their favorite Twitter users. This is known as following someone. A user’s followers will get updates on their home page every time someone updates their answer. If users follow each other, they also have the option to send direct messages to each other. These are similar to private messages on other social networking sites.
Twitter was created by Jack Dorsey in 2006. It quickly gained popularity and surpassed the popularity of other networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace. I joined twitter back in 2007 when Shoemoney talks about it in one of his blog post. That account was suspended as I was merely using it to post my latest blogs post using Twitterfeed lol.
Twitter has moved past the basic web tool that it started out to be. Now many users Twitter from their phones, as long as the phone can send and receive SMS (short message service) messages or use an application with devices like the iPhone. Telephone gateway numbers exist for the United States, India, Canada, and the United Kingdom so that people around the world can update their Twitter account from almost anywhere. Twitter is a completely free service, although users that Twitter from a cell phone will still pay the normal text messaging fees as per their provider’s service agreement.
According to a recent survey, Twitter is the fastest-growing social networking site on the Internet. The survey found that Twitter has seen a growth of more than 1300% since the beginning of the year. To put this in perspective, Facebook has seen less than a 300% increase in the same amount of time. And the trend keeps growing. Monthly visitors to the website are at an estimated at 6 million people.
Unlike Facebook and other social networking sites, Twitter is not just for the young and Internet savvy. Many people find it easier to use than other social networking options for staying in touch and networking for business. In fact, many celebrities and politicians are utilizing Twitter to reach a wider audience and bypass traditional media routes to get their message heard.
Those with blogs and Internet businesses have also found Twitter to be a successful marketing tool. With applications such as TweetLater, Twitterfeed, Ping.fm, and Twitpic, business owners can provide followers with information on updates, new products, and contests. While Twitter has not replaced the email newsletter, customers find using Twitter easier to get updates for their favorite businesses without clogging their inbox.
Because Twitter is still a new sensation in the social networking world,the owners of Twitter are still looking to improve the site with additional options for users and ways to help people make better connections. At the moment, the owners want to keep Twitter as a free service and that does not seem likely to change anytime soon though there are a lot of hype lately that they are selling twitter.
Good reading blogs on everything twitter :-
Image Credit – Brood_wich