Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Conversational Twitter

This direct quote from Twitters own blog states
"Twitter was originally conceived as a mobile status update service—an easy way to keep in touch with people in your life by sending and receiving short, frequent answers to one question, “What are you doing?” However, when we implemented the service, we chose to leave something out. To stay simple, Twitter did not require individuals to confirm relationships. Instead, we left things open."

[social media]
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles /
That key core purpose allowed Twitter to prosper along side Facebook, and other social media sites.  Facebook is intended to connect with people you know predominately. There are pages for fans, businesses and other entities, but the original purpose is to choose who to be connected with. Twitter on the other hand is designed to be one big meeting hall where you mingle.  You can use it to stay in touch with short singular messages, or a series of short messages to form a longer conversation. Anyone can listen to what you have to say, or join in and express their thoughts on the matter being discussed.

Twitter is not about what people have said in the past, it is about what they are saying now, in this very moment. Current events such as elections, sporting events, weather and breaking news are discussed and reported on Twitter as they happen. Utilizing hash-tags one can communicate with a group of people on a specific topic such as #socialmedia. This approach allows anyone to search the discussions history to read what people have been saying on the topic.  Hash-tags also provide a way to contribute to the discussions in real time.

The proliferation of mobile devices has assisted Twitter in becoming king of the conversation. Anything you see or hear can be reported via Twitter and spread across the globe in a heart beat. People are willing to share others views and ideas with their followers, and those with something to say love to be shared.

Image courtesy of SOMMAI /
The addition of image and video attachments opened up more opportunities to get your point across.  Now you don't have to say it, you can show it.  Creative people used this to share footage of riots and protests around the world, showing what was really happening on the ground. This real-time sharing opportunity meant governments and regular media outlets could not censor the footage, giving a real voice to anyone with an Internet connection. That is definitely a good thing.

Lists were introduced to allow many-to-many information sharing. Sharing to a list means you are directly posting tweets to an audience that have chosen to listen to a particular topic. Anyone can setup a list, as such not all lists are strictly organized to a topic or category, but the option is there to do so.

Twitter has come a long way since it first started in March 2006, and grown into the most popular micro-blogging site on the Internet.  Twitter is still evolving, like everything in social media.

What do you think is next for Twitter?

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