An introduction to Twitter

Twitter, the most popular micro-blogging service, was created in 2006. It enables users to share a message (tweet) of 140 characters or fewer. Originally, the users answered the basic question: “What’s happening?”, but later the question was dropped by Twitter, to leave things open (Twitter Blogs, 2009).

Top Social Login Preferences, source Janrain.com

Top Social Login Preferences, source Janrain.com

Therefore, Twitter expanded from what originally was intended to be, a platform to share personal information, to what Twitter has become today, one of the most popular social media platforms.

Users can enhance their tweets with images, videos, insert links, repost (retweet) other tweets, mention other usernames, reply and favourite tweets. They can also choose to follow other users even if they do not know them personally. Unless a user makes his/her own content private, all tweets are public and are displayed in each user’s timeline.

However, Twitter was not immediately adopted by people due to its concise style, but throughout the years, it has proven to be “one of the most powerful tools an organization has to listen to conversations that are happening in real time” (Scott and Jacka[1], 2011, p.15).

While requiring people to adapt to a condensed communication style, Twitter has become a popular digital tool due to its simplicity and user-friendliness. As of February 2014, Alexa lists Twitter on the 7th place in “The most visited websites”. According to Janrain.com, in the third quarter of 2014, Twitter came in the 3rd position in the Top Social Login Preferences, following Facebook and G+.

[1] Scott, P. R. and Jacka, J. M. (2011), Auditing Social Media: A Governance and Risk Guide, New Jersey, Wiley Business

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