Twitter is a service, released in 2006, that allows users to post short messages called tweets. It serves as a social networking tool. Users can follow each other’s tweets and exchange messages.
Twitter also functions as a microblog. Users often post tweets to provide updates about their current situation or feelings. Tweets are limited to 140 characters, which makes tweeting convenient and compatible for users who have more access to text messaging.
Tweets may be sent or received using the Twitter website itself. However, they can also be sent via SMS.
It is possible for the public to view a user’s tweets, unless the person decides to protect his page and make messages accessible only to contacts. Followers of a user’s tweets receive updates every time posts are made.
Celebrities and political figures have discovered how the use of Twitter can help them disseminate information. This has turned Twitter into a popular source for updates on current events and trends. Since fake celebrity accounts can be created by ordinary users, Twitter has introduced a feature enabling celebrities to verify their accounts. A special badge indicates that a certain user’s account is indeed owned by the specific public figure.
Twitter has also been used to share information during emergencies, and is being used by news agencies and public agencies to deliver important information to a wide audience.
Advertisements used to be non-existent on Twitter. However, it is now developing into a marketing and advertising tool. While it won’t be showing traditional advertisements, it will be allowing tweets from certain companies to be posted and made visible to users who have searched for related keywords.