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The Rise of Twitter and Why I Love the Social Platform

The birth and rise of the blue bird

Twitter. Where did it come from? It’s as if Jack Doresy, the founder of the network, took everything we knew about the world wide web, flipped it on its head and introduced us to a whole new world (and not the Aladdin and Jasmine kind either).

The platform was founded on March 21, 2006, with the first tweet occurring later that day at 9:50pm, when Jack Dorsey tweeted, "just setting up my twttr". With media gurus joining the cause, it slowly began its climb to the £18 billion dollar company it is today.

I say slowly because Twitter took its time to start dominating the market; in 2010 it had just 54 million active users, compared to Facebook’s 400 million. In November 2008, 40 articles appeared in British local and national newspapers that included the word "Twitter". The following month, 85 articles appeared on the subject. By January 2009, it was 206.

But how could such a well-known platform take so long to take off? People, that’s why. It’s not that they didn’t like it or couldn’t be bothered to use it; I feel that people were actually scared to use it. As the saying goes, “People fear things they don’t understand.”

To be honest, when I first used Twitter I felt like a polar bear in the desert – totally out of place. However, after a couple of tweets and a few pointers from my friends, I was away, and I was Hashtagging, Retweeting and Mentioning every celebrity I could – I wanted Twitter stardom for an hilarious/offensive tweet sent to a celebrity, but then who doesn’t!

Twitter’s active user base has increased massively over the past couple of years and from 2010 has gained a massive 217 million new users. It’s confusing that Facebook still dominates over Twitter, as it now seems old and worn out, with most organic posts not even making a dent in your audience, unless you spend some cold hard cash.

So why do I love Twitter?

Twitter is home to everything: news, images, the latest leaks online (like the Scarlett Johansson picture *cough cough*), friends and family. Nothing gradually makes it in the news on Twitter, it just explodes and everyone tweets about it right away.

The fact that news can break so easily on Twitter is great. Take the Hudson River plane crash. A man on the ferry rescuing the passengers tweeted a photo of the wreck before anyone from the media could even get close. This raised awareness of the crash and really showed the power of Twitter. When this happened, Jack Dorsey knew his creation was “going to be massive”.

On top of that, Twitter is so instant! I work at Oldham Council and it’s one of our most effective forms of communication. Someone will report something on a Tuesday and the problem will be resolved by Wednesday. This is great for communicating with residents; we can do it quicker, cheaper and easier.

Plus Twitter can be used in many different ways. You can tweet your friends, celebrities or even have a Twestival. It’s great for networking, building clientele and keeping new businesses and so many have benefitted from creating a successful Twitter campaign.

Read some success stories here.

I think that Twitter will overtake Facebook soon with its ease of use, potential impressions and the fact that it has gained over 200 million new users in just two years. But until then, let’s take a minute to thank Jack Doresy for providing us with a great platform to share, create and retweet content.

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