Touted as the 'SMS for the Internet', Twitter was created in 2006 and in the last five years it has seen a huge increase in the amount of people using it. This got me curious; what is it about Twitter that makes people want to use it?
At a first glance, It is a different set up and layout to your 'beloved' Facebook page, restricting posts or 'tweets' to 140 characters, which is a short message to let the world of Twitter know what you are up to. You can tag fellow Twitter users in your posts by using the '@' symbol followed by the username (which Facebook decided to steal, sorry, 'incorporate' into their design) and it appears in their Twitter feed.
All well and good, but why would this make someone want to use it more than Facebook or as well as Facebook; we all know that Facebook has been 'the king of social media' for a few years! So how has another social media platform managed to grow just as popular?
Colette Martin said in her Forbes blog that the reason that Twitter has become so popular is because 'Twitter is all about messaging. Messages go to your followers, but are easily accessible by everyone. Twitter is a goldmine of information and there is no need to ever send a tweet to leverage the data in Twitter.'
'Small and large businesses alike can benefit from “listening” to what their customers are saying about them on twitter.'
A perfectly good reason to join from a business point of view; your customer base are within touching distance and you can keep up to date with the goings on of their day-to-day activities.
So there are good business reasons to join, why would a person join Twitter?
Personally, I believe that people join Twitter because of the 'celebrity factor' it has about it. There is an overwhelming amount of celebrities who use Twitter and the majority of them are very active with lots of regular tweets. It allows the user to feel properly engaged with the celebrity as they know it is them replying or 'retweeting' their tweets.
According to a recent Nielsen study; 'people in the USA spend 906 million hours a month on social networks' - a phenomenal number, I can only imagine the numbers are around the same in the UK!
And I am not surprised, listening to Radio1 this morning, I think I have heard the words: 'Twitter', 'Tweet' and 'Retweeting' about 20-30 times in nearly two hours!
In conclusion, my personal opinion on the 'deal with Twitter' is that it acts as a knowledge base of information allowing people and businesses to share short messages with one-another and it gives us that social interaction with celebrities which, who wouldn't enjoy! Yes, It's a place where people are less likely to 'follow' their friends and more likely to 'follow' celebrities but hey, isn't that what Facebook is for?
By Justin O'Connell