Have you heard? All the world’s a-twitter!
Twitter is a tool that you can use to send and receive short, 140-character
messages from your friends, from the organizations you care about, from the
businesses you frequent, from the publications you read, or from complete
strangers who share (or don’t share) your interests.
As a user of Twitter, you choose whose updates you want to receive —
which people you want to follow. In turn, other users can elect to follow your
updates. You can send messages publicly for the entire Twitter community,
semi-publicly to users whom you approve to receive your messages, or
privately from one user to another. You can view these messages, called
tweets (sometimes called updates), either on the Internet or on your cellphone.
Twitter has changed and enhanced the way that people communicate with
each other, with brands and companies, and with social movements and
initiatives. Twitter has empowered users to raise money for people in need,
coordinate rescue efforts in the wake of a natural disaster, and alert authorities
to emergencies and illegal activities both domestic and abroad.
Skeptical of what you can say in 140 characters? The first paragraph of the
Introduction weighs in at 41 characters. This paragraph? 137.
You may also find, over time, that you communicate more effectively and
that your writing becomes shorter and more to the point. You can say a lot
within very little space; and because it takes only a little time to read and
update, you may be surprised about how much value you, your friends, and
your family can extract from Twitter.