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Posted on March 8th, 2013, by

Twitter is considered to belong to Web 2.0 technologies. Twitter and the similar services produce the new incredibly popular phenomenon in Web 2.0 known as microblogging. It is probably the simplest type of Web 2.0 networking because of limited number of characters in message. Among social networks this one is the most popular for fast news information. Twitter is one of the most popular services nowadays, and it can be interesting as the illustration of future development trends in Web 2.0. It was created in 2006 by Jack Dorsey and positioned as SMS of the internet. This is partly Web site, partly social networking Web service, the specific feature of which is the super-short messages (up to 140 characters), or Tweets. These messages can include web-links and serve as an announcement of the article or blog entry; also it is allowed to send tweets via the Short Message Service (SMS). Even the president of the United States has a s Twitter to reach the American public.

Till now Twitter was successfully used in campaigning, protests and politics, emergency cases, public relations, survey opinion, space mission news, legal proceedings, education, and even prank.

Here are some statistics about the Twitter:

Unique visitors to Twitter increased 1,382 percent year-over-year, from 475,000 unique visitors in February 2008 to 7 million in February 2009.

* In February 2009 the largest age group on Twitter was 35-49; with nearly 3 million unique visitors, comprising almost 42 percent of the site’s audience.

* The majority of people visit Twitter.com while at work, with 62 percent of the audience accessing the site from work only versus 35 percent that accessed it from home only.

* In January 2010, over 75,000,000 people visited Twitter.com representing 1,100% growth over January 2009. (Twitter Statistics)

* The average Twitter user has 27 followers The monthly rate of new Twitter accounts peaked in July 2009 and is currently around 6.2 million new accounts per month (or 2-3 per second). This is about 20% below July 2009’s peak rate.

* A large percentage of Twitter accounts are inactive, with about 25% of accounts having no followers and about 40% of accounts having never sent a single Tweet.

* Approximately 80% of all Twitter users have tweeted fewer than ten times.
(Twitter’s Tweet Smell Of Success, 2008)

This statistics made the researches thinking that Twitter cannot be used in serious manner. However, the events of a few last years have made people changing their attitude to Twitter. More and more celebrities, politicians, even governmental regulative bodies create the accounts in social networks to promote their activity, inform people about the latest events, and for many other purposes. Among the most popular Twitter users are President Barack Obama, billionaire and the head of Microsoft company bill Gates, pop-star Lady Gaga, CNN breaking News Twitter account, and also tweets of singers, actors, news agencies, politicians, and so on. One of the most popular Twitter account in Great Britain is @downingstreet, it belongs to Premier Minister of United Kingdom. Such extraordinary popularity of Twitter also has negative sides. The examples of bas use of Twitter can be found everywhere and it can hardly be controlled. Thus, the bad use of Twitter should be carefully researched and discussed, because only complete understanding can help to find the protective measures against bad use.

Literature Review

Before starting the literature review it is necessary to mention about some specific issues related to discussion of twitter in academic literature. First, every academic research requires a significant period of time. However, fast development of web 2.0 and quick changes in the segment of human activity prevents the detailed analysis of some issues. Thus, Web 2.0 in general and Twitter use in particular should be discussed in light of its dynamic nature. Second, because of quick development and constant changes any academic research in this sphere can be considered as outdates, because in time of research and publication further changes can vary some important aspects. Third, it is necessary to use not only academic research. Twitter, as well as other Web 2.0 tools, provides the comfortable platform for discussions.

These discussions cannot be considered as academic research, but it is impossible to study Twitter without the quoting of Twitter itself.

It is also important to mention that the researches of Web 2.0 and Twitter analyze new technologies in different aspects: social, economical, psychological, political, and so on.

Several recent projects are also worth mentioning because of efforts to track the influence on Twitter. The Web Ecology Project divided the influence if Twitter users on two types: content-based and conversation-based (Leavitt et al. 2009). The results of this project prove that celebrities using twitter are better in conversation, and Twitter accounts of news media are better in the spread of content. Weng et al proposed to examine Google search algorithm known as page ranking. PageRank-like measure can quantify influence on Twitter (Weng et al. 2010).

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