I remember when I first heard about Twitter. The whole concept confused me. Only 140 characters to share an update? I wondered why anyone would ever want or need to use it. Fortunately, there were those who adopted it anyway, and have made it relevant in our world—Twitter is now huge.
And by huge, I mean enormous. In March of 2013, seven years after Twitter’s launch, it had 200 million active monthly users, and 170 billion tweets posted. Those users spent, on average, 170 minutes on the site each month, and had 208 followers each. Not a bad adoption for a 7-year-old business, is it?
In this interview on CNBC Twitter CEO, Dick Costolo, says that Twitter is our modern-age way of sharing ideas. Rather than gathering in a town square, our information, opinions, music and gossip are passed around virtually and instantly. In this same segment Sema Mody references the Battle of New Orleans in 1815, where the war ended, but fighting continued for many months because no one knew. She says that our world today would make that information gap impossible, due to real-time updates.
Not convinced yet that Twitter is a powerhouse, and it’s here to stay? Here are five Twitter stats that illustrate the current state of the microblogging site.
- 21% of the global internet population uses Twitter, with the largest growth in Hong Kong.
- Lady Gaga has 33 million followers, and adds to her following faster than Twitter registers new users.
- The 16-day Olympics generated 150 million tweets
- Because Twitter originated as mobile application, it hasn’t struggled with some of the growing pains of other social media sites that have. This is a particularly important thing to note when we consider the trends of rapid smartphone penetration.
- There are tools that can help analyze a person or company’s influence in the Twitter world. These calculations can be based on number of followers, retweets, or frequency of tweets.
So have you been swayed? I have to admit, I am. Once you are ready to dive in here are a few tips that will help you start off with a bang:
- Tweets with images get twice the engagement as those without, so even though you’re limited to 140 characters, the picture can still be worth a thousand words.
- There is a direct correlation between a lower number of posts per day and higher engagement. Just like mom used to say, “Think before you speak.”
- If you’re still at a loss, check out this list of memorable celebrity first-time Tweets for inspiration.
Tweets aren’t just for that obnoxious girl from your graduating class talking about what she ate for breakfast, or the fact that she’s #sooverit with her ex-boyfriend. It’s the way we discover, share, interact, and engage. It’s not about diminishing the importance of communication, but rather allowing ourselves to receive communication from places never before possible. And I’m going to go see what the world has for me to learn.