Definition of Twitter
Twitter is a service that allows people to stay connected with each other by answering the basic question, "What are you doing?" Once you sign up for a Twitter account, you can post your own updates, or "tweets," using a computer or cell phone. You can also view the updates posted by other users you are following. Since each tweet is limited to 140 characters or less, the updates must be short and sweet. However, you may twitter as often as you want, meaning there is no limit on how much information you can share.
What is Twitter?This brings us back to the original question. What is Twitter? It is many different things to many different people. It can be used by a family to keep in touch, or a company to coordinate business, or the media to keep people informed or a writer to build up a fan base.
Twitter is micro-blogging. It is social messaging. It is an event coordinator, a business tool, a news reporting service and a marketing utility.
Twitter describes itself as, “a service for friends, family, and co–workers to communicate and stay connected through the exchange of quick, frequent answers to one simple question: What are you doing?”If you’re new Twitter, then that description might seem a bit vague and ambiguous. So, to help you wrap your mind around the short-form messaging tool, start thinking about Twitter as a new form of online communication. Twitter is just communication in a new shape, but it’s also a platform for listening to the communication of others in new ways.
Currently we have email, instant messenger, and VoIP tools like Skype as one-to-one or one-to-few online communication tools. For one-to-many online communication, online publishers can turn to blogs to create and distribute content rapidly and reach anyone on the web through RSS feeds.
Twitter is a combination of these various forms of communication, but its primary difference is that posts, or tweets, are restricted to 140 characters or less. As a Twitter user you can post updates, follow and view updates from other users (this is akin to subscribing to a blog’s RSS feed), and send a public reply or private direct message to connect with another Twitterer.
Though users can answer the prompt, “What are you doing?”, tweets have evolved to more than everyday experiences, and take the shape of shared links to interesting content on the web, conversations around hot topics (using hashtags), photos, videos, music, and, most importantly, real-time accounts from people who are in the midst of a newsworthy event, crisis, or natural disaster.
Twitter is a Miniature Blog
Twitter is News ReportingTurn on CNN, Fox News or any other news-reporting service and you'll likely see a news ticker streaming across the bottom of the television set. In a digital world that is relying on the Internet more and more for news, that streaming ticker is Twitter.
Outdoor festivals like the South-by-Southwest festival in Austin, TX and major events like the E3 conference have shown what a great resource Twitter can be for quickly reporting news to a huge group of people. Faster and more immediate than a blog, Twitter has been embraced by the "new media" of the blogosphere and has slowly won acceptance among traditional media outlets.