Order Twitter Marketing Discussion Assignment
Q7 What is Twitter?
Twitter is about answering the question, “What are you doing?”, in less than 140 characters, via texting, instant
message, or the web. (To put this in context, that first sentence above is 135 characters.) A message on Twitter
is known as a ‘tweet’ and people adding messages are said to be ‘tweeting’.
Twitter started in 2006 and gained momentum in 2009 when Oprah Winfrey started tweeting. Popular with
celebrities and politicians, Twitter is now being used by journalists, big brands, local councils, sports clubs and
smaller businesses, as well as individuals in all walks of life. Increasingly, Twitter is being used by businesses
worldwide to communicate with customers, potential customers and influencers.
In July 2009, the New York Times reported that Curtis Kimball, a street vendor selling crème brûlées in San
Francisco, had noticed someone new in the queue. When he asked how the customer had heard about the food
cart, the answer was “he had read about it on Twitter”. Now Kimball tweets daily, letting customers know where
to find him.
Communicating with so few words means that you need to be succinct. It also means that a form of Twitter
shorthand has developed – for example:
• @username message: This directs a tweet at another person which can be seen by their followers:
@annmariehanlon we’re attending the SME show in Dublin.
• D username message: A D or DM sends a person a direct and private message. No one else can see a
DM or Direct Message: D joannaakins Brian running late, delays in Cork.
• WHOIS username: Type a whois request into your Twitter box and it shows the short biography of the
person, as long as their updates are not private: whois joannaakins. (Twitter only lets you see this info for
a few seconds!)
• GET username: This retrieves the latest Twitter update posted by the person but, if they have not
tweeted for a while, it can take sometime: get brianokane.
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