2008’s biggest web 2.0 discovery -Twitter

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December 12th, 2008 Priyanka Joshi

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At first, I didn’t get Twitter. The internet service allows users to write and send, via SMS or online, short (140 characters max) messages to a network of fellow Twitters, usually off-the-cuff updates describing what they are doing at the moment. I couldn’t see why anyone would want to have such insights into my life. However, slowly and surely, after getting enough emails from people who said they were following me on Twitter, I started using it again.

It would be safe to say that probably most of the country’s 40-odd million net users still don’t get Twitter, but 6 million do. That is, six million have signed up, according to ABI research reports, but concludes that “the number who use it regularly is much smaller.” Still, that’s not bad, considering it was launched in 2006, although as the report says, it didn’t really begin to take off until around March of 2007. Twitter continues to amaze, astound, or underwhelm and baffle, depending on your point of view. Most people, however Twitter to communicate with friends on the fly. In fact, during the tragic carnage in Mumbai, one writer acquaintance of mine used Twitter to get updates from friends who were texting while in hiding.Facebook offered Twitter $500 million in October to buy its service, but Twitter’s CEO and co-founder Evan Williams turned him down. “We explored it, as we should. We took it seriously,” Mr. Williams told the NewYorkTimes. But the $500 million offer was mostly in stock, and Williams wants to spend more time with Twitter and turn it into a revenue-maker. Presently, Twitter doesn’t generate income.

Not for Twitter’s company–funded with $20 million–perhaps, but it does make money for those who use it. I’ve interviewed business owners who have landed deals on Twitter or simply used it to leverage knowledge from others. For the unemployed, it can be invaluable to stay in touch with industry peers. It’s a networking device, in other words, more informal and immediate than LinkedIn or even Facebook, and like them, used by many people in the corporate set.
And what does Twitter’s future look like? Even Williams doesn’t sound sure. “We will make money,” he promises. “And I can’t say exactly how because… we can’t predict how the businesses we’re in will work.”

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One Response to “2008’s biggest web 2.0 discovery -Twitter”

  1. Mini Says:

    Why not try out the free messaging on timesofshaadi.com (Times of Shaadi site).
    Its reminiscent of twitter, and its free as well.

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