23rd Mar 2012
Twitter wasn't the first player in the microblogging arena, but after six years, it has managed to get ahead and stay in the game quite comprehensively. The concept of microblogging wasn't completely revolutionary; it was somewhere between SMSs for the web, and posting blog posts. However, Twitter didn't stick to just the 140-character tweets; they have added several functionalities to attract millions of users (140 million active users as the website suggests) who post as many as 340 million tweets a day. We look back at how the service has fared, and how much impact it has had on netizens as a whole.
When Twitter was launched as one of the first microblogs, Jaiku was ahead of the race by just a few months. The website had a tough task to stay ahead with sites such as tumblr competing quite fiercely. However, features such as tiny URLs, direct messaging for discreet conversations, and image sharing being added, subsequently helped the web service carve a substantial fan following for itself. Its footing strengthened further due to the fact that several acclaimed celebrities joined the bandwagon.
Celebs No Longer Demi-Gods
All around the world, several celebrities including movie actors, performers, politicians, and newsmakers have tried to establish their brand on the microblogging website, and Indian celebs are no different. While some look for an opinion, some vent their true emotions, some propagate their cause, and others try to stir up controversies, one thing is for certain, all of them have gladly given up their "demi-god" status to "connect with their fans" with more ease. Who needs tabloids, when you can endorse yourself for free?
Delivering News In Real Time
Twitter certainly showed how powerful the service can get with several high profile news bits, breaking live in real time. Be it the death of a celeb, bombings, or killing of an international terrorist, tweeple (people who use Twitter) seem to be at the right place and at the right time. There have also been times when Twitter stirs up controversies. However, such news may not always be authentic.
Twitter over the years has acquired several services, and with a new design in place, many of them are already operational. These include Summify a news aggregator, Posterous a blogging service, Tweetie a twitter-style service on the iPhone, Cloudhopper the mobile messaging technology for North America, Europe, and Africa, Dasient an anti-malware, WhisperSystems a security system, TweetDeck a Twitter client for desktop, web, and mobile devices, AdGrok an internet advertising service, BackType a social analytics platform, Bagcheck list sharing and discovery platform, and Julpan a blog and tweet search service. All of these, and many more have surely made Twitter a more user-friendly and feature-packed service for people to interact with each other.
Real Stories From Real People
Twitter has also given people some interesting stories to share. Be it proposing marriage, a royal wedding, tweeting from the alter, or tweeting through childbirth, the microblogging website has been through it all. So as the service turns six, do you have any Twitter stories to share with us?