What is Twitter?


Twitter is a free social networking and micro-blogging service that allows for its users to update “What are you doing” in 140 characters or less. Then friends, family, or co-workers can see their answer and stay updated with their daily activities. It is slightly similar to some of the other “networking” sites available but rather it sticks primarily with the texting attribute of simply updating “what are you doing”. Twitters can be received through SMS texts, RSS feeds, email, or applications such as Tweetie, TwitterFon, Twitterific, Feedalizr, and Facebook.


Twitter hasn’t had a long life but has rapidly grown since its birth. Founded in 2006 it has currently issued over 3 million free accounts and had over 5 million hits in this year alone. In 2007 it won the South by Southwest Web Award in the blog category, which gained it much notoriety.


It has been called the “social justice tool” that connects groups of people in critical situations. In April 2008 a graduate student of UC Berkeley was arrested in Egypt, he was able to alert his “Twitter followers” that he was arrested and then kept them apprised of what was going on during his incarceration while they contacted Berkeley and got him some legal help. Emergency service units utilize the ability to type a location or message and send it to their co-workers with the push of a button.


Twitter is definitely growing but isn’t currently making any revenue with advertisement or any type of charge for their service. I think we will continue to see this service grow but change into a paid service when we love it too much to give it up.

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