A movement called Twitter
For an internet portal just two years in existence, the amount of news that Twitter has been making is like nothing ever before in the history of communications. Sample this:
- The micro-blogging site has featured in Time some days back
- Oprah Winfrey is the latest celebrity tweeting on the already huge celebrity list of Twitter
- Iranians turned to the service to protest the results of their presidential election and get the news out …
- … if that wasn’t enough, the importance of the San Francisco-based startup was underlined by the US State Department, which asked Twitter to postpone a planned maintenance shutdown on Monday because of the situation in Iran.
- Reacting to the Iran situation, Twitter co-founder Biz Stone said, “It’s humbling to think that our two-year old company could be playing such a globally meaningful role that state officials find their way toward highlighting our significance.”
- Access to the popular social networking service was blocked across mainland China on Tuesday afternoon, two days before the 20th anniversary of the bloody Tiananmen Square crackdown following calls for a re-evaluation of the protest movement that have been published on the Internet, and may have prompted the black-out
- Twitter has been adding millions of users a month for the past several months and its website received 32.1 million unique visitors in April, according to comScore.
- #cnnfail hashtag on Twitter, came out as a result of Twitter users venting out their frustration on CNN for not giving enough coverage to the Iran incident. CNN had to issue an official response to the allegations.
The actual number of users of the micro-blogging service is hard to figure since Twitter can be accessed using personal computers, mobile telephones and dozens of custom-built applications such as the popular Tweetdeck.
The Twitter co-founders have reportedly passed up offers running into the hundreds of millions of dollars for the service and have so far only unveiled vague plans to turn it into a money-making venture.
Fred Wilson, a venture capitalist whose firm Union Square Ventures is an investor in Twitter, made it clear at the Twitter conference in New York on Tuesday that he believes Twitter has a bright— and profitable — future.“Links are the currency of the Internet,” Wilson, who sits on Twitter’s board of directors, told the 140 Characters Conference.
“If you look at the power of Google, and why Google is currently the king of the Internet, it’s that Google drives more traffic to more places on the Internet than anybody else,” he said.
“Social media, particularly systems like Twitter and Facebook that are good at driving traffic out into the Internet the same way that Google does are very important and powerful economic forces,” Wilson said.“It’s a natural thing for services like Twitter and Facebook to eventually figure out how to inject some sort of a paid model into their systems.“It’s the obvious thing to do and if they don’t do it some one will figure out how to do it as a third-party application, and people are already doing it as third-party applications,” he said.
John Borthwick, whose company Betaworks is among the hundreds that have developed tools for Twitter, said it is this “incredibly vibrant ecosystem of applications” surrounding Twitter that is one of its strengths.
Jeff Pulver, organizer of the 140 Characters Conference, said it is too early to tell exactly where Twitter is going, but “I think what we’re experiencing is something that’s much bigger than all of us understand.We’re living in a time where access to information is available to anyone and everyone,” said Pulver, a web entrepreneur. “The advent of Twitter has democratized access to information to everyone.
“When more and more people have real-time information we’re going to see transformations happen that no one expected,” he said. “Businesses will fail, others will flourish and there will be billions of dollars of opportunity created.”
The impact that this 2 year old micro blogging site seems to have in real time world is scary and there is little wonder that Google wants to either buy out or partner Twitter. Twitter’s ascent would not leave Google very comfortable. Would it?
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