Well, Twitter, congratulations are in order. You’ve got founder Jack Dorsey is back as Executive Chairman, you’re now five years old, and the world is your oyster. An oyster filled with 140 characters-worth of pearls. You win.
Twitter zealously is a familiar story: internet user learns about Twitter, says, “I’d never use that,” decides to sign up for whatever reason, ends up hooked. Yes, that was me. But here’s why:
You can write a thought. You can share a link, picture, or video—or that you’ve just checked into the grocery store, if you insist on linking your Foursquare to your Twitter (which, dear friends, is the worst form of feed clutter, so you needn’t do that). But that’s pretty much it. The character limit means everything posted to Twitter has to get to the point.
And that’s the beauty of the platform: simplicity.
Post to Twitter via web, mobile web, mobile app, Twitter client, or text message. So many options means it can be pretty easy to get your thoughts out into the world.
It’s a social media channel, which means you’re supposed to interact with people—or, more interestingly, brands. Take, for instance, the Twitter and Kraft macaroni and cheese game, where users who twittered about macaroni and cheese could score cheesy prizes. Or take Comcast, whose customer service department reaches out to disgruntled users in 140 characters or fewer.
Twitter is a prime spot to learn about things that are going on in the world. Twitter has become one of my prime sources for breaking news, like the AT&T-Mobile merger (thanks New York Times Twitter account, and wonderfully irrelevant information. Did you know that March just so happens to be National Noodle Month? I didn’t either, until Foodimentary told me.
- We’re writing.
Even though the majority of tweets posted to Twitter are by and large, “pointless babble,” we write them because we care about them. Maybe punctuated with strange grammar. Maybe about the utterly mundane details about being alive. But we write them because we hope they add value. We write them so we remember what’s happening and what happened. But we’re writing—which means we’re thinking.