Insights & News

Twitter Who? An Introduction to Twitter

By Chiara Haberer

Twitter can be used for a multitude of different purposes and thus can be defined in several ways. Let’s explore these definitions.

Twitter logo

The History of the App

The mesmerizing platform was built using Ruby in Rails, a specialized Web-application framework for the Ruby computer programming language. Its interface allowed open adaptation and integration with other online services, designed in 2006 by Evan Williams and Biz Stone. Williams, who had previously created the popular Web authoring tool Blogger, had since begun experimenting with one of Odeo’s side projects, a short messaging service (SMS) which at the time was named Twttr. Later down the line the management team was joined by engineer Jack Dorsey, following came the completed version of Twitter, which debuted at the South by Southwest music conference in Austin, Texas in March of 2007.

In April 2007, Twitter, Inc., was created as a corporate entity thanks to an infusion of venture capital. Twitter was primarily a free SMS with a social networking element. As such, it lacked the clear revenue stream that one could find on sites that derived income from banner advertising or membership fees. As the number of visitors to the platform continued to rise throughout 2009, it became clear to everyone that Twitter was more than a niche curiosity. Thus, in April 2010, Twitter unveiled ‘promoted tweets’, advertisements that would appear in search results as its intended primary revenue source. This is where the real Twitter Boom began.

Functionality

Twitter is an online microblog service, used for distributing short messages among groups of recipients, via either computers or smartphones. The platform incorporates aspects of other major social networking sites such as Facebook, offering instant messaging technologies, and building this into a network of users able to communicate in short, brief messages throughout the day, known as ‘tweets’.

Users simply type their tweet, sending it to Twitters Server, which then automatically relays the tweet to ‘followers’, these are other users who have signed up to receive the senders’ tweets. Users have the option to also track and follow specific topics, creating a thread or dialog with other users inside the app. Tweets have no restrictions on twitter, they can be about any subject, a joke, recipe, news and so forth. Tweets however cannot exceed the word limit of 140 characters.

As odd as it may sound, for Millennials, Generation Y and Generation Z, Twitter is considered their top source of news across the globe. The main purpose of the platform is to enable people around the world to connect and share thoughts openly, therefore, politics and social topics are largely discussed on the platform.

Twitter snapshot

How is Twitter different?

A selling point for the app is its practicality. The app allows users to share images, videos, or messages. What users post is kept on their profile indefinitely and can be reposted or liked by other users, others can also reply to tweets and open topics of conversation.

In recent years, Twitter was named the preferred choice for the discussion of serious topics, whether this be political, business, or social, Twitter had most of the eyes of the world. For instance, individuals such as President Barack Obama, Greta Thunberg, Elon Musk, and Malala Yousafzai, own active Twitter accounts, informing followers on their most recent actions and accomplishments etc.

Twitter is ideal for sharing information, creating a client base, and sharing behind the scenes insights. The platform also allows consumers to communicate in a simpler and faster way, thus,
ensuring they feel heard and cared for.

What’s in it for Advertiser’s?

Since Twitter is not as visual as neighboring apps like Instagram, TikTok, and Snapchat, the most relevant and helpful feature Twitter has to offer is its informational power. Twitter, like no other platform, can come in handy when brands want to inform and connect with their consumers. The Retweet, Like and Thread Comment feature, ensures that brands can express their values and selling point clearly and directly with their audiences. By using Twitter, brands can build a strong sense of community with their users and share their latest product and service releases.

In conclusion, Twitter is undoubtedly a fantastic tool, building the bridge between companies and products with consumers. Embracing the power of Twitter, will allow brands to expand their popularity and loyalty base, through the simplicity of tweets.

Twitter blog post