There’s quite a lot of chatter in the press currently about Twitter – but what is it?
As with most social media platforms, Twitter was conceived and born in the USA, where venture capitalists have a new buzzword to get excited about – Web 2.0. The dotcom bubble is back, and this time the accessibility and bandwidth are there to make it less likely to burst.
Twitter is being called a ‘micro-blogging’ service. It’s like the status updates on Facebook, but stacked up so that the information disseminated by the people you follow appears in a list.
Unlike Facebook, you can follow anyone, although the relationship isn’t complete unless they follow you as well. This makes it an ideal platform for celebrities, who want to issue snippets of news and gossip to grow their supporters without being plagued by obsessive fans. It’s a one-way street unless otherwise, explicitly, adjusted.
But status updates aren’t the end of the story. Shortened URLs (using services like tiny) mean that news articles can be fed through Twitter. See it less as a mundane list of the activities of a group of friends and colleagues, and more as a feed of news headlines to scan through quickly, the most relevant of which will be read.
And everything has to be written within 140 characters.
Twitter’s a new microblogging service where to follow and be followed are distinctly different. Messages have to be 140 characters or less.
Watch this space.