Twitter is a social media site which allows users to connect with anyone across the world by ‘favouriting’, ‘re-tweeting’ and replying to tweets. The site was created in 2006 by Jack Dorsey and Bis Stone, and as of April 2013 the site has 500million users (200million active users). (Smith, 2013) The main concept of twitter is that each tweet must be 140 characters or less although photos videos and additional text can be utilised on the site. (Twitter, 2013) This video, created by YouTube explains the basic workings of the site:
The benefits of the site is that it can be used without actually signing up and has real-time information with a tool to see what topics are ‘trending’ worldwide or in specific countries. Many twitter users use the site to simply keep up with friends or their favourite celebrities, however it is also a great social media site for all businesses to connect to their current and potential customer base as this video demonstrates:
As a current Twitter user, I was already familiar with the ‘how to’ for personal use for this site, but I must say was very easy to get to grips with from the beginning (my profile can be found here: https://twitter.com/Schlooop) I generally use the site to keep up with friends as well as enjoying various profiles that I find entertaining such as ‘Uber Facts’ and Spin Radio’s profile. They upload interesting and funny content and I think this is the key to twitter for businesses and people alike: make people want to follow you (with humour and engaging content). As from a music perspective, I currently follow many record labels music magazines, bands etc. and Twitter is a great resource for them. Fans can be kept up to date on all news about your favourite artists. An example of an Irish band who have utiliesed Twitter to great effect is The Original Rudeboys. They interact with their fans here daily and by asking their fans to request their songs on the radio (the most effect means of generating sales) they are now a regular on Irish radio and have built their fan base, worldwide to unbelievable levels in the short time of their existence. In general, bands can keep their fans up to date with what is happenings no matter where they are thanks to the Twitter app and the popularity of smartphones. They can upload photos of the recording studio, videos from backstage and tweet news about tour dates.
Overall, Twitter is a really fun social site that can be used for a lot of different uses – tailored to your preference. The site gives you the option to link your tweets to your Facebook with is a very handy tool as well as allowing businesses and bands to talk to their customers and fans first hand, to deal with complaints or to just say hello. Twitter does have some disadvantages however, the limit on view-able text can be difficult to keep within as well as in order to talk to people who do not follow you, you must have your page publicly view able which is an annoyance to people who, for example have a private profile but are having problems with their phone and want to talk to Meteor customer care who operate a very efficient service via Twitter. Furthermore, Irish users of the site must now be vigilant of not only what they say on twitter but also what they repeat, thanks to the Defamation Act (2009) which recognises a “re-tweet” as a separate publication that the original authors, therefore, although it seems like an open platform for freedom and expression, it could land users in trouble with the law. (Defamation Act, 2009)
Smith, C. (2013). (April 2013) How Many People Use the Top Social Media, Apps & Services?. Available: http://expandedramblings.com/index.php/resource-how-many-people-use-the-top-social-media/. Last accessed 3rd April.
Twitter. (2013). About Twitter. Available: https://twitter.com/about. Last accessed 20th March 2013.
Defamation Act, 2009