Social media has transformed the internet in the past few years — so much so that for a significant percentage of internet users, when they think of the internet, they think of Facebook. Over the past couple of years, we’ve worked on maintaining a strong presence on Facebook, while other social networks such as Twitter have been more of an afterthought. However, due to rapid growth in our Twitter followers, we’re working to use this service as well. Questions about Twitter? Read on. Wikipedia covers Twitter in-depth, but I’ll give a quick synopsis of the Wiki article below: Created in 2006 by Jack Dorsey, Twitter has been referred to as the “[texting service] of the Internet”. The service’s origins (code name twttr) began as Dorsey’s idea of “an individual using an SMS [(texting service)] to communicate with a small group.” During development, Dorsey explained that they “came across the word ‘twitter’, and it was just perfect. The definition was ‘a short burst of inconsequential information,’ and ‘chirps from birds’. And that’s exactly what the product was.” As of 2012, there are over 140 million active users, sending over 340 million tweets (messages consisting of up to 140 characters) per day. Anyone can read the tweets, though only registered users (the service is free to use) can send the messages. While messages can be sent online via the web site, Twitter is best used via standalone services (either from a desktop, or through mobile apps). As smartphone and tablet sales have increased, use has surged. Just what do people say in a tweet? The majority of tweets are public, although two users that follow each other can have a private ‘Direct Message’ conversation. While a 2009 survey claimed that 40% of tweets were “pointless babble”, and another 4% were spam, the fact remains that Twitter has built relationships and conveyed news — I myself used Twitter to follow coverage of I’ll Have Another’s scratch from the Belmont (and subsequent retirement).
While it is true that once you follow a large number of users a tweet has a limited lifespan, the true power of Twitter lies in services such as HootSuite, and the creation of lists to separate the accounts you follow into manageable (and slower-scrolling) streams.
We’re working on keeping a strong presence via both Facebook and Twitter — neither of the services will be going anywhere anytime soon, and I can only see an increase in the use of both in the next couple of years.
What are your thoughts — do you like social media? Think it’s just a waste of time? Prefer one service over the other? If you have any questions on anything I’ve covered, I’ll be happy to answer anything you can think of — or anything I didn’t think to mention. If you’re interested in signing up for Twitter, just visit their website to sign up and create a profile (though you can also sign up via their mobile app). They have an exceptional FAQ site here, and there are hundreds of different sites offering “quick reference” sheets that can be found with a quick Google Search (this is an excellent one — just right click and save the image to your computer if you want to print it out). Follow the farm at @MargauxFarm, or you can follow me at @Daynwj. Josh Stevens is also on Twitter, with the handle @_JoshStevens.