What is Twitter and Why does it Appeal to Celebreties?
April 18, 2009
The recent Ashton Kutcher vs. CNN Twitter race opened my eyes to the fact that celebrities are jumping all over Twitter. Being a curious nerd who is sometimes (mildly) interested in the next Internet fad (anyone remember Geocities or Friendster?) .. and so I decided to finally take a quick look at Twitter.
… Also, being a former student of psychology, I was curious as to why celebrities seem to be falling over themselves to get on the Twitter bandwagon?
So first, what is Twitter?
In a nutshell, Twitter is a virtual-home for narcissist and people who have no lives. The narcissist send out the messages and the people who have no lives, wait around to learn what fascinating things the narcissist chooses to write about in 40 characters or less.
Note: typo there, it is actually 140 characters.
In nerd terms, Twitter is a micro-blogging platform where people can subscribe to your Twitter account, to receive short messages that you deem worthy of spewing. These messages can be received on various devices that are connected to the Internet. Twitter nerds refer to these messages as ‘tweets’ and they refer to the act of sending messages as ‘tweeting’.
… I’m amazed that straight men openly talk about ‘tweeting’. Anyway …
So you could write/tweet:
“I’m having a coffee.”
“I think I’ll go see the new Harry Potter film.”
“I just ate too much popcorn and I need to take a dump.”
… Man, this stuff is just too juicy to pass up on!
So why are cotton-candy-celebrities like Ashton Kutcher so enamored of Twitter?
Do I really have to answer that!
Besides the obvious, I’m also guessing they see it as a vehicle to promote themselves or maybe their next movie or maybe … some aftershave they want to sell perhaps?
I’m a capitalist and am all for it, but I think that besides stroking egos, I would guess that Twitter like applications (Twitter is a stupid easy piece of software to build BTW) will ultimately have a very limited niche appeal. I can see a sales force (for example) finding use in this sort of thing.
What will happen to Twitter?
Soon the copycats will get into the game, other social networking platforms will invest the few days it takes to integrate Twitter like functionality into their offering and soon real-time micro-blogging will be everywhere.
… I believe Facebook has already done something.
How about the people, how about the ‘Tweeties’ and the ‘Tweeters’?! … The twits?
Soon enough, people will start to tire of ‘tweeting’ and of reading other peoples ‘tweets’ because hollow entertainment such as that is like cotton candy – it taste good at first, but it gets you sick pretty darn fast.