Twitter world: More than just another social medium

Tweeting has played a crucial role in social movements like the one in Al Tahrir square.


Ayesha Shuaib September 04, 2011



On 21st March 2006, Jack Dorsey, the co-founder of twitter, became the first person to send a tweet. Since then billion of tweets have been sent through twitter by millions of people across the globe. Twitter, without a doubt, is one of the fastest  growing social media websites in the world. It has become a very simple and easy mode of communication for people in various parts of the world.


But it has also become much more than just a way of staying in touch, for friends or colleagues.

Today, twitter has almost 200 million registered users generating millions of tweets each day. Over the years Twitter has attracted celebrities, sport stars and even politicians which have given it a whole new dimension of social consciousness.

One of the most intriguing facts about Twitter is the authentic profiles of known personalities. Pop singer Lady Gaga is now the most followed person on Twitter! The pop singer recently reached 10 million followers on the Twitter. She is the first person to ever gain 10 million followers and Justin Bieber is right behind her.

But of course, there are scores of fake and “just for fun” profiles, as well. From the Bronx Zoos missing cobra to Osama bin Laden twitter has its share of notorious fake profiles as well.

Twitter For media:

“Some tweets make news, and some of those tweets break news”

This quote says it all. Over the years Twitter has evolved from being just a social networking site to a socio-political awareness tool as well. Events are live blogged through twitter as well, which is another major profit of having a Twitter account. Recently, Sohaib Athar, whose home overlooks Osama Bin Laden’s Abbottabad hideaway, began Tweeting the May 1 raid on the compound.

His first tweet was “Helicopter hovering above Abbottabad at 1AM (is a rare event).” As the time passed Athar live blogged the scenes sending out various tweets as the event unfolded.

“Uh oh, now I’m the guy who live blogged the Osama raid without knowing it,” he tweeted on May 2 after the news of Osama’s death was made public.

Twitter For Business:

Twitter is used increasingly by businesses to communicate with employees and customers. It is used for the purpose of advertising their products or promoting their businesses.

Numerous brands are using twitter for latest sales promotions, introducing new products or features by simply sending out an update and directing their followers to its website. Different electronic and mobile companies are availing this tool for marketing as well. On the contrary, when customers are happy with a product or service, they can spread the word quickly – and do wonders – with a few tweets or it can be vice versa.

Twitter for the people

It is said that Twitter has been significant if not critical in the Egypt and Tunisia 2011 revolutions as well as the Iranian demonstrations in 2009. The use of Twitter to communicate among the protester and also for sending the messages across is now the norm among revolutionary movements of the world. It is evident that different rallies and peaceful protest are carried out by sending out messages through Twitter. The timings and location are communicated to like mind people.

There is no denying the fact that Twitter has been a stronghold in today’s revolts and revolutions.

The writer is a social media manager at Prymus Technologies and blogs at http://socialyzd.wordpress.com

Published in The Express Tribune, September 5th,  2011.

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