Micro blogging website Twitter marks its 10th anniversary today. It’s time to look back at important milestones achieved and what the future may look like for the platform, which has been documenting the world in 140 characters.
According to the micro blogging website, it now has more than 300 million active users, far less when compared with Facebook’s 1.5 billion users making it more popular, faster, and the choice of more marketers.
“But when you look at it, you never quite forget it’s looking back, managing your feed, managing you, steering you to things and away from others,” said Chicago Tribune in a recent article.
On the other hand, “Twitter, if you push the right buttons, gives you more of what you actually want, not what it and its business partners think it’s best you see,” it added.
No wonder then that Twitter attracts a significant number of politicians, scientists, journalists and celebrities, who use the platform to convey their thoughts in 140 characters with precision that “not everyone can achieve but everyone appreciates”.
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Recently, in an interview on NBC, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey said that while a number of changes are being planned for Twitter, its 140-character limit represents a beautiful constraint which helps deliver strong statements.
The short character limit for tweets is an element that gives Twitter a unique identity.
Dorsey also said the micro blogging platform will stay true to its original values – “”It’s breaking news, but you can actually interact with the news makers,” he said.
“We have so many creators and influencers on the platform and the cool thing is that they actually have conversations with people directly,” he added.
Just three years after Twitter’s launch, for many the platform became the primary source of the latest news. In 2009, flight number 1549 of the US Airways made an emergency landing in the Hudson river between New York City and Weehawken in New Jersey.
The first image of the rescue mission in which all the 155 passengers were evacuated to safety were taken by a Twitter user and it became viral within minutes of uploading it on the platform.
Twitter has also proved itself as an excellent platform to raise awareness about political topics, spread political messages and coordinate collective action. The use of Twitter by Republican candidate Donald Trump “as a microphone” is one of the several such cases to prove the point.
In India, Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu has been effectively using the platform to address issues raised by ordinary citizens using one of the world’s largest railway networks.
Twitter has opened up a two-way communication between businesses and their customers.
“On the one hand this means it’s easier for customers to complain to a company – and do so publicly. But it’s also much quicker and easier for companies to reply and potentially resolve an issue, and can potentially even reduce customer support costs,” said a report by theconversation.com.
But it is Twitter’s efficiency as a platform for instant sharing of news, links and views that makes it indispensable. It has changed the way the information used to flow around the world.
With Dorsey promising a number of changes to product and organisational structure in order to appease sceptical investors, the company is all set for a turnaround to see its monthly average users go up.