Following the crash of the initial dotcom bubble in 2001 many people claimed to have created or coined the phrase Wed 2.0 as we in subsequent years the industry grappled with what would come next. By 2004 the term Web 2.0 was appearing everywhere and euphoria reined with this next phase of the Internet that included all sorts of “second generation” web developments. Information sharing became hot as did collaboration, hosted services, blogging, wikis, video-sharing and of course social-media sites.
In 2003 MySpace grabbed our imagination, followed in 2004 by Facebook and in 2005 by YouTube. They quickly emerged as the dominate players in this new social media environment. However, this new Olympic team was still missing a player or two.
Although micro-blogging and social media site Twitter only entered the trials late in 2006, it is having an even more fundamental shift than any of its predecessors. Twitter is basically a SMS (Short Messaging Service) sent to followers that have subscribed to receive them with its messages (Tweets) limited to 140 characters.
It was initially perceived as a Gen X toy, but Twitter has transcended that expectation, which many Web 2.0 technologies have not been able to do. It has become a very significant communication tool of the first decade of the 21st century. It may sound premature and even absurd to some, but there are those that are already comparing its influence to that of Morse code, the telephone, radio or television.
In barely three years the estimated number of users (no official numbers are released) is around 12 million. Compete.com ranks it as the third most used social network behind Facebook and MySpace – which means about 6million unique visitors per month – while Nielsen.com ranks it as the fastest-growing member community site (1382% in February 2009), ahead of Facebook (228%).
The American Red Cross uses Twitter: during the 2008 Mumbai attacks, when US Airways flight 1549 went down in the Hudson River and this month when NASA astronaut Mike Massimino used it onboard the Space Shuttle Atlantis.
All indications are that Twitter is really the next really “big thing.”
So, Realtors® don’t get left behind. Get your free Twitter account today and start learning how to “Tweet” this week. You can find and follow me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/swanepoel
Acknowledgement: Realsure, Inc.