Hooked on Twitter

Is it just me, or does the world — and the media — seem to be abuzz over Twitter, the social networking and micro-blogging service?

For those of you who aren’t familiar with the service, it allows people around the world to stay connected in real time via short updates — better known to the Twitter community as “tweets.”

There’s no doubt that during the past year Twitter has exploded in popularity. Chances are at one point or another you’ve attended a meeting or sat on a train or bus in which the individual next to you has been furiously typing tweets into his or her iPhone.

In fact, a recent CNN article pointed out the number of unique visitors on Twitter grew more than 1,300 percent from February 2008 to February 2009. In terms of actual numbers, the platform saw a jump from 475,000 users to approximately 7 million for the same time period.

To put these mammoth figures into perspective, consider the fact that social networking giant Facebook grew by 228 percent — to a total of 65.7 million users — during the aforementioned time.

Even though Twitter came into existence a couple years ago, it wasn’t until quite recently that what I refer to as “Twitter mania” began. That’s when the input from notable personalities and intensive media coverage helped boost participation and drive the number of users to unprecedented levels.

An example is President Barack Obama’s use of the social platform during his 2008…


Deanna Hartley

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