Social in 60: Ep. 3 – What is Twitter?

Written on Nov 01 2013

Twitter is a micro-blogging social network that is anything but micro in stature. Its platform allows users to broadcast short messages to the world, developing followings based on the quality of the message. #Hashtags help filter the messages into searchable conversations as all the tweets rise and overlap. Words spread quickly and retweets broadcast the message further so the reach for a business depends on the engagement and excitement of the audience.

social in 60_twitter1

Transcript: Twitter is a largely open platform. It allows anyone that creates an account to broadcast their message to the world, provided its under 140 characters (or about 25 words). Why? Originally designed to work over SMS texting technology in 2006, Twitter’s character limits were simply the limitations of the technology used at the time.

While the tech has improved, our habits haven’t changed. Our nostalgia for keeping things short has bred a culture of brevity into Twitter that continues to this day. This massive content-driven democracy of sorts allows ideas to spread quickly, since tweets don’t take long to read.

Just how quickly can Twitter change the world? Its role in recent global events, like the Arab Spring, have shown us its relevance on the global stage. Unlike Facebook, which segments its users into profiles, pages, and granular privacy controls, Twitter accounts all look and behave in a very similar way. Where Facebook is a newspaper, Twitter is a megaphone, leaving the audience to filter any information of interest. How you plan on getting their attention however, is a whole different matter.

Key terms: 
Characters are the number of typed letters, numbers, symbols, and blank spaces used to compose a tweet.
Tweets are messages sent on Twitter.


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