Citizen journalism and business ads: Twitter’s options or future paths?

Exchanging ideas in 140 characters, Twitter seems to hit the target of rapidity asked by today’s World. But, are full-speed messages enough to promote business? Moreover, does this shortness undermine the quality of information? A few considerations on the last Twitter Academy Webinar and an interview with Joanna Geary, head of news partnerships at Twitter UK

288 m. of monthly active users, 500 m. tweets per day and 80% of accesses from mobile devices: as explained during the free Webinar organized by Twitter Academy on February 10th, 2015 numbers sufficiently show how Twitter helps people share information instantly, without barriers. Then, even though the big amount of data seems difficult to understand, by means of the free platform Twitter Analytics, any company can gather real-time market intelligence.

Businesses use Twitter to share their services, built relationship with customers, partners and influencers. Twitter Analytics allow them to monitor interactions and impressions and to boost single-tweet performances, analyzing statistics on follower’s interests. Definitely, if marketing is a question of “being in time”, there is no doubt that the best-known micro-blogging rapidity is useful to reach business goals. But Twitter is also a news network, the place to discover what is happening and how reality is perceived.

“We often use the term news-broken by Twitter” – said Joanna Geary, head of news partnerships at Twitter UK – “But news break on Twitter.” As stories unfold, Twitter helps media directly engage with audiences. Obviously to “know something in a second” means the possibility to undermine quality and objectivity of information, but it is a chance for both people and journalists “to fill the gap, becoming interested in having solid and good verification skills”.  

The immediacy of tweet-news is a fundamental change, concerning citizen journalism and information democracy but, as Geary clarified: “benefits of allowing people communicate on Twitter are greater than the risk that somebody says something inaccurate.”



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