Twitter is exactly six years old today. The strange thing is Twitter hasn’t changed all that much with its simple 140 character text messages, the @ symbol to recognize users, and hashtags to group topics. Sure, Twitter has bought Summize so as to include a search feature, developed lists for grouping of people, and now bought Summify to add a publishing component, but as Mashable editor-in-chief Lance Ulanoff (@LanceUlanoff) told ABC News’ Andrea Smith (@abcandrea), reporting on 6 years of Twitter, it’s how we use Twitter that’s changed.
It’s really been about how people have changed around the platform and they’ve gotten very used to conversing in these short text bursts. People are turning to Twitter first as a way to get their news out. It’s become incredibly important in people’s lives to share information first with their audience, with their friends, you know, people they’ve never met before, but it’s just become a truly powerful platform.
Powerful indeed, reports Smith.
- The famous picture of Captain Chesley Sullenberger’s US Airways plane landing on the Hudson River. It appeared first on Twitter.
- Twitter and other social media sites played a central role leading up to the toppling of Tunisian and Egyptian dictators.
- The death of Osama bin Laden was reported on Twitter before it before President Obama gave his televised address to the nation.
I first saw the impact of Twitter with news of the 2008 Chinese Earthquake breaking first on Twitter before being reported by Reuters, CNN, or the New York Times. The day after I blogged regarding Twitter and the earthquake, the Guardian cited me for reporting that news of the earthquake broke on Twitter. Later that year, I followed on Twitter live reports, with pictures, of the Mumbai guerilla attack and subsequent rescue efforts. That was followed, for me, by reports, pictures, and a real time conversation with a Palestinian on Twitter of bombings on the West Bank. Events like these. The news I now receive. The information I share. The relationships I’ve built. The business development I’ve done. All on Twitter. They’ve totally changed the perception I had of Twitter when I registered for Twitter 5 years ago in 2007. Don’t worry about Twitter going anywhere. As Smith reports, Twitter, with a valuation of about $10 billion, is firmly planted in the world of advertising to drive continuing revenue. Let me know in your comments when you registered for Twitter, how your perception of it has changed, and how it’s changed your world. Don’t recall when you registered for Twitter? There’s a site for that, ‘When did you join Twitter?’