Twitter sometimes feels overlooked, if a social media outlet with more than 300 million users can claim that.
Compared to Facebook and Snapchat, Twitter appears more of a niche audience. Its 140-character limit can confuse new users. “What’s the purpose?” some might say when asked why they don’t have an account.
I find Twitter fantastic for two main reasons. The first reason is its source as an instant news service. The second reason is its ability for instant feedback to live events.
Notice that there was a common word used in my Twitter description, “instant.” Twitter is a live reaction of the world. Television has been the biggest beneficiary of Twitter, with television shows such as The Walking Dead, live sports and awards shows having massive followings during broadcasts. If a major play happens in a sporting event (game-winning goal in extra time, for example), Twitter will explode with lots of “WHOA,” “YES!” and “OMG” type comments. While this isn’t the most riveting commentary, per se, it allows one to see how instant emotions play out across the audience (reactions the user might be experiencing themselves at home).
The news aspect of Twitter is its biggest value. News will always break first on Twitter before anywhere else online, on television or in print/radio. Before news outlets publish breaking news articles, they tweet the news on Twitter. Journalists with inside information will pull out their phones and send a quick tweet the moment they find out.
Unlike television or newspapers, Twitter allows you, the user, to find the news you want to see. You are in control of the news sources, the journalists and the people you trust to give you the news you want. This allows you to filter what you want to see. For example, if you want NBA commentary but can’t stand Stephen A. Smith’s opinion, you don’t have to follow Stephen A. Smith’s account.
For example, I love keeping up with NFL breaking news via Twitter. I follow ESPN’s Adam Schefter and Chris Mortensen for immediate breaking news. I follow Pro Football Talk and CBS Sports’ Pete Prisco for general news and commentary. As a Miami Dolphins fan, I follow all the local beat writers for daily team-specific news and updates.
If you are just looking for wedding photos or job updates, Twitter isn’t where you will find it. But if you want to be on the forefront of news and in the know, I recommend you become actively involved with Twitter today.