It was the social media sensation of 2009 making the cover of Time Magazine and it makes number three in our list of the most important web phenomena of the last decade.
Number 3: Twitter
The success of Twitter in under four years is astounding. Last March Nielsen ranked Twitter as the fastest growing social network with a monthly growth of 1,382 percent.
Alongside the startling growth it has changed the rules in so many areas. It has altered the way we consume news – stories can be tracked instantly and direct from the source; we have seen this starkly with post election protests in Iran and the terrorist attacks in Mumbai.
Twitter changes the rules for ‘search’ by delivering a human component. Google has recognized this and in the last few weeks added live twitter results to its front page returns for a multitude of queries.
Twitter can be a social network but the potential reach is well beyond the real world proxies for friends and colleagues offered by Facebook and LinkedIn. One of its many functions is that of an ‘introduction engine’ opening the way to bulding new contacts and relationships.
The real beauty of Twitter is that is isn’t a web site, many people prefer to use twitter clients like Tweetdeck, Seesmic or Hootsuite, its a new medium like SMS was or before that the phone. We can use it in a host of different ways. Some say that it is a flash in the pan like Seconds Life or Bebo. I think that is unlikely – it’s a bit like saying “the telephone? That’ll never catch on.”