Note: While the platform’s name has been changed to ‘X’, the author prefers to continue using its previous name, ‘Twitter’.
What’s happening? As suggested by the tagline, Twitter connects people with moments that are happening.
Twitter was created by Jack Dorsey, Noah Glass, Biz Stone and Evan Williams, and launched in July 2006. It is a microblogging and social networking service where users post and interact with messages known as “tweets”. A powerful marketing medium it has emerged as the leading social platform for government leaders.
Twitter is among the most potent tools used for mobilizing support for social and political causes that sometimes incite unrest. This has led to calls for regulating Twitter alongside other social media sites.
Indeed, self-censorship is the big challenge that Twitter is currently facing. The company’s stand on free speech is summed up by the following statements on their website, relating to their purpose and principles:
“It matters to us that people have a free and safe space to talk. That’s why we’re constantly improving our rules and processes, technology and tools”.
“Freedom of speech is a fundamental human right — but freedom to have that speech amplified by Twitter is not. Our rules exist to promote healthy conversations”.
Recently, Twitter is in a state of disarray. Elon Musk took over the company a few weeks back and fired half the employees. Hundreds of others have left the beleaguered network following an ultimatum from Musk that employees sign up for “long hours at high intensity,” or leave. The reinstatement of Donald Trump’s account has also caused controversy, with the former president claiming he has no interest in returning to Twitter.
These drastic measures that are reshaping Twitter have rattled advertisers. Despite the challenges, Twitter remains a leading social network and a fine example of a microblogging site.
Twitter’s scale and impact can be gauged from the following 2021 statistics (Source: Hootsuite):
This chapter focusses on the use of Twitter for business and consumer marketing. It describes how the site can be used for building awareness, engaging with customers, communicating, and generating leads and sales. Centred on what’s happening, Twitter is a powerful marketing platform to announce events such as product launches. It is also a useful research platform for marketers to study how people view their brands and their competitors’ brands.
Often described as the SMS of the internet, Twitter facilitates real-time engagement and can be effectively used for personalized services and one-on-one communication, including customer feedback.
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