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Twitter is mainstream. Are you in?

india Updated: Apr 18, 2010 20:57 IST
N Madhavan
N Madhavan
Hindustan Times
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It was a Twitter week all the way, with tremendous learnings for me.

The country’s headlines were full of the controversy involving a spat between Indian Premier League cricket’s commissioner Lalit Modi and Minister of State for External Affairs Shashi Tharoor over stakes in the Kochi team, and fascinatingly, their differences apart, they both are active tweeters.

Tweeters, for the still uninitiated, are those who use or applications linked to it to give and/or follow short 140-character messages, views or comments to feed streams that go to those who choose to follow them. Often, tweets carry Internet links to articles or alerts that prompt people to read up.

On Saturday, I woke up to see a tweet from publisher and Indian School of Business’s founding dean, Pramath Sinha, tweeting about the demise of management guru C.K. Prahalad. Strangely, the active Google News site had no word on it except an earlier report on Dr. Prahalad’s illness. It turns out that the news spread like wildfire on Twitter before mainstream
news people could react or report.

Clearly, even for Net laggard India, social media in general and Twitter in particular have become critical. I get my news alerts these days more on Twitter than on the agency wires on my desk.

Last week also a milestone week for Twitter as it unveiled a model for “promoted tweets” to make money.

Co-founder Biz Stone said Twitter now has roughly 105 million registered users. The site Twitter currently has 180 million unique visitors a month, suggesting that Twitter may be more popular than previously thought. According to market research agency comScore, Twitter had 69.5 million unique visitors to its site in February.

The site has been evolving to allow organised lists and other features that turn Twitter from a chaotic buzz –which still it is – to a more organised platform.

The space is fluid, and like in the case of e-mail, in which Hotmail suddenly shrank from the limelight in the face of Google’s Gmail onslaught, we might have other engines, but it is clear that tweeting as a generic revolution is truly here.
If you are not engaging in it somehow, you may be missing something.