In its first five years, we’ve seen what Twitter can do and how far it’s influence, or more specifically its users’ influence, can go.
So what has Twitter been good for?
Following news events and newsmakers
Twitter has given users a unique ability to read and directly communicate with those who make the news. Never before has this access been so readily available to anyone.
Trending and breaking news discussed:
Since Tweets appear in real-time, the most thought provoking and interesting Tweets “trend” and are discussed.
A voice for the people:
One person can easily be ignored. But the same message echoed by thousands, by agents of change. This can get the attention of millions of people.
So what’s next for Twitter?
Twitter as a poll gathering device
Since millions of people are chiming in simultaneously about specific topics, Twitter can be useful in gathering public opinion.
“So in Twitter posts and tweets and so on, if there’s specific factual information that’s being mentioned — they want that extracted,” Srihari says. “There’s also definitely an interest in sentiment and opinion mining.” (Taken from the High-Tech PR Blog, Lois Paul)
An enhanced communication tool with the public
Amber alerts and weather warning have become standard practices on Twitter, whether it be from an official organization or even concern citizens.
The Federal Government is also looking at ways to introduce its new two-level terror alert system and incorporating them on Twitter and Facebook. The alerts would be date stamped. The trending topic would immediately be shared and discussed, making this very effective.
Non-Profits and Twitter
Nonprofits have been leading the way in utilizing social media to promote their work. Perhaps the biggest asset Twitter can be to nonprofits is its ability to engage audiences. The range is vast and its cheap.
Twitter’s lifespan cannot be foreseen now, as its popularity is at an all-time high. Each year more and more people are using it. The important thing to consider is it is a very good communication tool and you should use it now!