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10 years of communication 2.0: Happy Birthday Twitter!

10-anni-di-TwitterIf Cinderella’s blue birds instead of helping her to get dressed up at dawn they had tweeted the news of the Grand Ball, probably the poor girl would’ve been able to burn at the time the wicked stepsisters, would’ve win before the Prince and would’ve been spared a lot of grief. But Twitter wasn’t still there and the birds could “just” simply chirp. It was not there, because it has turned 10 just a few days ago. For the past decade Twitter provides free social networking service and microblogging: every registered user to the platform has the ability to share on his personal page a text message to a maximum of 140 characters including hashtag (a keyword that relates the tweet – that is, the message – to a topic, preceded by the hashtag), photographs, videos, and links.

Created in March 2006 by Obvious Corporation of San Francisco, Twitter has quickly made a significant space between the main sources of news and updates in real time about what happens in the world. Any news is disseminated and made known right before the newspapers, before the agencies, before any press conferences, thanks to the chirping of the social network. More than others it allows each user to become a publicly confirmed witness, a citizen journalists, a node chain of any information that turns out to have a worldwide echo. Its capillary diffusion and the obligation of the synthesis that it requires, have revolutionized the way we spread information. The news are reported with no frills and unvarnished rhetoric, so the user, once a passive audience in the “old fashioned” journalism era, became nowadays a lead reporter. In a short time Twitter has become a real “digital press office” as well as a reference point for some of the most well-known and important personalities (the Pope or Obama in particular) and arena of debates, clashes and comments regarding any fact that gets popular attention.

Are 10 years just a few or are already too many for a social network like Twitter? Few, if we consider that it has now “only” 320 million users, compared to Facebook and Instagram, with respectively a half billion and 400 million. Too many, considering that in this era, where everything is a constant becoming, changing end and starting again, Twitter tends to be always equal to itself, trying to adapt to new requirements without ever losing its true nature. Another substantial difference with other companies, especially Facebook, is that while its turnover is on the rise, the value of its stocks was reduced by about three times the entry on the stock exchange three years ago (last year it had losses for over 450 million euro). Does It need more time to engage and to convince the financial point of view, or it has perhaps already exhausted its full economic and social potential? We’ll find out pretty soon. In the meantime, happy birthday Twitter, right by your users and creators of information every day!

by Valentina Mannino

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