TWITTER – Assessment B by Group G

Samantha Thompson(3886061), Phillip Madafferi (3787446), Antoinette Kelada (3503445)

HISTORY

Since its inception in 2006, Twitter has quickly become a revolutionary social media platform that has taken the world by storm one tweet (or millions) at a time.

Ex-Google employees Evan Williams, Jack Dorsey and Biz Stone were all key players in the creation and development of the micro blogging site. Initially, Twitter was not yet on the cards; their main focus was concentrated on creating a broadcasting platform, named Odeon. Odeon was deemed unfit for the competitive market (at the time) given Apple’s giant, iTunes, dominating in the broadcasting sector.  Their attention was averted which consequently resulted in the birth of the project named ‘Twittr’ (later known as Twitter) (Carlson 2011).

Two months after the initial launch of Twitter, the service had only attracted 5000-registered users. According to Carlson, The company (Odeon & Twitter) was then brought out by Evan Williams himself, claiming that the company, along with what would later become its best asset, saw no real potential in taking off.

Fast forwarding through the years to 2012, Twitter has evolved in to a short, sharp and sweet social media powerhouse. From only 5000 registered users calculated only 2 months after its launch, Twitter has continued to crunch numbers. It has now reached more than 500 million registered users worldwide as of the end of July 2012 (Lunden 2012).

Twitter has not undergone any major changes over the years. Only recently have businesses had the opportunity to access exclusive functions in which allow them to reach their target audiences more efficiently and effectively, this was one of the most significant developments (McIntosh 2012).

Its look has remained simple and the interface has barely evolved.  The most drastic facelift occurred just recently, users can now choose to have a ‘cover photo’ to further customise their page, this appears both online and on mobile, while other simple cosmetic lifts have been added, Twitter is still strategically simple.

ADOPTION

Twitter  is a particularly interesting networking site because it adopts the “asymmetric model” of relationships (Porter, 2009). Twitter enables news organizations to maintain an “asymmetric” position by following only a few chosen accounts, all the while being followed by several million users worldwide (Porter, 2009). It allows organisations to find news and events at first hand. Twitters growing importance makes it easier for breaking news and events to hit the audience and users at a incredible speed. Twitter allows us to use a new type of word of mouth communication that is called electronic word of mouth (EWOM) which has ability to reach larger audiences across the world also known as the “Twitter Effect.”

A great example of “Twitter Effect “ extremely successful to the public but also caused great controversy where celebrities Katie Price and Rio Ferdinand tweeted about the chocolate bar snickers. The snickers company paid both celebrities to tweet 5 times. Within minutes and hours of these tweets people were complaining. The Advertising Standards authority does not allow and believe this campaign to be part of an orchestrated advertising campaign. After a short investigation they could not relate the first four tweets by both celebrities to have any relation to snickers therefore snickers was dropped from any breaches.

Snickers Twitter Campaign(Video)

 

Another “twitter effect” which has happened in the last 2 weeks is the Jill Meagher campaign, where through the use of twitter and other social media platforms people have shared and attributed to the wide support of Jill and her family “90 minutes after news broke of the arrest, social media platforms were ablaze with news of the development and tweets mentioning Ms Meagher’s name hit almost 12 million Twitter timelines, or news feeds, trending across Melbourne and Australia.” From this the impact and power of twitters network and audience contributed to the peace march on Sunday down Brunswick where over 10,000 people marched the streets in remembrance of Jill. This emergency event shows the magnitude of impact and power and support that twitter itself has. Now many pages from twitter and other platforms in relation to Jill Meagher’s death are being band as they may have effect and magnitude on the court case which will begin in the future.

GROWTH

Twitter was created in March 2006 when Mark Dorsey, a co-founder of Twitter, published his first tweet. Over the years that have followed that first tweet, Twitter has experienced tremendous growth in terms of its popularity, usage and importance. Twitter has evolved from a social media platform, designed to enable friends to remain connected in real time, to a powerful marketing force used in both the corporate and consumer worlds (Nielson.com 2009). Twitter has proven to be an essential element in numerous brand marketing campaigns across the globe. The platform enables companies to continuously build brand awareness whilst keeping consumers connected to their brand (Nielson.com 2009).

Since its launch six years ago Twitter has grown exponentially. In the 18 months following the launch Twitter reported a membership base consisting of 500,000 accounts. Four years later Twitter reported that close to 500,000 accounts were being created per day. Additionally, between 2011 and 2012 Twitter reported that there was a 182 per cent increase in the number of people tweeting from mobile devices. In March 2012 Twitter announced that they had a membership of over 140 million active users. Remarkably, this was a 40 per cent increase from the figure released in September 2011, which showed 100 million active users.

Moreover, according to Twitter three years after its launch its one-billionth tweet was published. Today, Twitter receives over a billion tweets every three days. In the last three years the average number of tweets per day has grown from 50 million to 140 million to 340 million respectively. As the number of tweeters continue to grow so does the number of staff employed by Twitter. In 2006 Twitter had a team consisting of eight people. Six years later Twitter has 400 staff members (Mashable 2012).

INTERACTION


The word ‘Twitter’ has many meanings, one of them being ‘chatter’, and Twitter, is just that.

Its 500 million users are continually encouraged to interact with each other by ‘Joining the Conversation’. This is one of the main messages pushed by the micro blogging platform.

It’s short and it’s simple. Twitter allows its users to post mini blog posts (Tweets) of up to 140 characters long. Users that follow you can see these posts on their newsfeed. If your profile is not on private, your tweets may be seen by anyone who finds themselves on your page.

There are many different ways one can tweet and interact with others.
You can:

  • Tweet a thought (@<insertname>)
  • Tweet about a topic using a ‘hashtag’ (#)
  • Tweet your friend (@philio90) or even
  • Tweet a random user with similar interests; the list is endless.

There are many different users on twitter, which range between (but are not exclusive to) journalists, celebrities, politicians, brands, corporate companies and news corporations. (Mashable 2012)

It has quickly become the centre of debate for all types of discussions and issues allowing its users to interact with each other and voice opinion. Discussion from Twitter often crosses over to traditional media, highlighting its power.

Brands choose to target their customers and interact to build customer relationships, while journalists want to share or even look for information, proving there is many different ways the Twitter environment can be utilised in order to meet every individuals specific needs.

 (Gratton 2012)

To reiterate the above we would like to take you beyond the blog and on to the platform to see it first hand.

  • Please log in to twitter using your username and password.
  • search for the #acc3004aps ( A trend we created – exemplifies how a trend is created, and how tweets using that ‘#’ are grouped together.
  • Under this ‘#’ we have posted additional information in regards to how Twitter can be used effectively

If using your mobile:

Interaction is left up to the user and how they personally choose to engage; this is the key feature of  Twitter.

NOVEL FEATURES

“As a social network, Twitter revolves around the principle of followers. When you choose to follow another Twitter user,that user’s tweets appear in reverse chronological order on your main Twitter page”

  • Twitter allows you to send and read other users updates (known as tweets)
  • Twitter messages(tweets) are limited to 140 characters (micro blogging)
  • Promoted tweets: You can send and receive updates via the Twitter website, SMS(text    messages), RSS (receive only),     emails or a third party application.
  • You can restrict delivery to your circle of friends (delivery to everyone is the default).
  • You can use third party application such as Tweetie, Twitterrific, and Feedalizr to send Twitter messages.
  • You can now elect to show tweets to a specific audience or certain geographic location
  • Targeted tweets: This new type of tweet is great because it allows you to select a certain subset of Twitter users to see it. Subsets are the categories and keywords related to the content of your tweet. For example, if you are the owner of a pet grooming salon, you can select the category “pets”. If you only groom dogs, you can also select the subcategory “dogs.”
  • With promoted tweets, advertisers can purchase tweets based on what kinds of things users do with their Twitter accounts. It also comes with a dedicated dashboard that allows you to track the performance of your tweets in real-time
  • Weekly email digest filled with great stories and stream
  • Top tweets of the week funny tweets that have been re tweeted or updated hundreds and thousands of times can be very entertaining
  •  Tailored trends offers a unique way of what you actually care about based on location and who you follow you already follow
  • Expanded tweets allows you to preview contTwitent  previews, images, videos etc from partner sites
  • Discover tab continuous stream of tweets which expand to show you the most relevant stories and photos (side tab) It is tailored to your interests based on who you follow
  • Twitter for business guide shows you glossary terms and guides
  • Tweets with links tab to filter the search results down to only the ones with links.
  •  Tweets near you for geographically close Twitters tweeting on your topic of interest
  •  People on Twitter whose Twitter names include your search term under the People” tab?
  •  Twitter tales users covering stories and humour
  •  Lists – short lists peoples tweets that you really want to see
  •  Twitter widgets lets you display twitter updates on your profile link in with all your other social media platforms
  •  Follow me buttons
  •  Tweet button lets you share website or blog content
  •  Keyboard shortcuts

 

THE TWITTER DIFFERENCE

Whilst Twitter share’s the commonality of connectivity and the sharing of information with other social networking sites such as Facebook, Soundcloud and MySpace there are some significant points of difference. The most prominent difference being that Twitter unlike its social networking site counterparts requires no reciprocal relationship in order to follow or be followed (Kwak 2010). A user can follow another user without having to be followed back. Once a user subscribes to follow another user the follower will receive each tweet they publish.

Another point of difference is the brevity in expression required by users as Twitter is a microblogging service that has a strict limit of 140 characters per post (Kwak 2010). The common practice of sharing information via social media is completed through the retweet function which enables users to select and disseminate information to people beyond the original tweeter’s followers. The retweet function is incredibly powerful as it allows users to conveniently and instantaneously spread information across the globe, beyond the parameters of their immediate social network. For example a user that initially publishes a post on Facebook will be publishing to their immediate network. However, with Twitter the information can be retweeted by any other user across the network they are not required to be a ‘friend’.

Twitter is a very dynamic social networking site that is proving to be a powerful forceboth in the online and offline worlds.

REFERENCES

Carlson, N 2011, The Real History of Twitter, Business Insider, viewed 30 September 2012
<http://articles.businessinsider.com/2011-04-13/tech/29957143_1_jack-dorsey-twitter-podcasting/5&gt;

Cunningham T 2012, New Twitter features help businesses target clients, The Miami Herald, viewed 1October 2012 http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/09/30/3027442/new-twitter-features-help-businesses.html

Freebased 2012, # TwitterCampaigns, Twitter campaigns ideas & inspirations, viewed 1 October 2012 <http://www.twittercampaigns.com/&gt;

Gratton, J S 2012, Follow Me! Creating a Personal Brand with Twitter, John Wiley & Sons, London

Hong, S, 2012 Online news on Twitter: Newspapers’ social media adoption and their online readership, Information economics and policy, Volume 24, Issue 1, March 2012, Pages 69-74 <http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0167624512000054&gt;

Kwak, H., Lee, C., Park, H., and Moon, S. 2010 What is Twitter, a Social Network or News Media? In Proceedings of the international conference on World Wide Web, pages 591-600.

Lunden, I 2012, Analyst: Twitter Passed 500M Users In June 2012, 140M Of Them In US; Jakarta ‘Biggest Tweeting’ City, TechCrunch, viewed 29 September 2012
http://techcrunch.com/2012/07/30/analyst-twitter-passed-500m-users-in-june-2012-140m-of-them-in-us-jakarta-biggest-tweeting-city/

Mashable 2012, Twitter, Twitter on Freebase, viewed 30 September 2012 <http://mashable.com/follow/topics/twitter/>

Mashable 2012, History of Twitter Timeline, viewed 28 September 2012 http://mashable.com/2012/03/21/history-of-twitter-timeline/#471035-Tim-Tebows-Overtime-Touchdown-Pass

Twitter on Freebase, viewed 30 September 2012 <http://mashable.com/follow/topics/twitter/>

Mcintosh, B 2012, How Twitter Has Changed Over The Years And Why It Still Works, Internet Marketing Insights, viewed 30 September 2012
<http://www.billmcintosh.com/social-marketing/twitter-social-marketing/how-twitter-has-changed-over-the-years-and-why-it-still-works/>

Nielsen Online 2009, Twitters Sweet Smell of Success, viewed 29 September <http://blog.nielsen.com/nielsenwire/online_mobile/twitters-tweet-smell-of-success/>

Sherman A 2011, 10 Twitter Features You Might Be Missing, Gigaom,viewed 1 October 2012 <http://gigaom.com/2011/02/02/10-twitter-features-you-might-be-missing/>

Twitter 2011, Twitter Blog numbers, viewed 29 September 2012 <http://blog.twitter.com/2011/03/numbers.html/>

Wildrich L 2012, 5 new twitter features to enhance your experience, Social Media Examiner, viewed 1 October 2012 <http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/new-twitter-features-to-enhance-your-experience/>

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