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Shop, navigate, report crimes: Twitter beyond tweets

tech Updated: Dec 29, 2015 18:49 IST
Sanshey Biswas
Sanshey Biswas
Hindustan Times
Twitter

Twitter is utilising its reach to go beyond just sharing thoughts to actually getting things done over tweets. Specific Twitter handles when called upon can serve purposes like paying bills, contacting authorities or even finding the fastest way to work.(Pixabay)

What if you could snuggle with your blanket for hours every winter morning, delegating tiresome chores to Twitter, getting your laundry done and bills paid, all in 140 characters?

After nearly a decade, the social network with 307 million active users is finally shaking things up, doing things differently as it struggles to stay relevant and compete with other behemoths such as Facebook.

From rumours suggesting the character limit will be scrapped, ads being displayed even to non-members and experimental timeline layouts, Twitter is going all out. And it is utilising its reach to go beyond just sharing thoughts to actually getting things done over tweets. Specific Twitter handles when called upon can serve purposes like paying bills, contacting authorities or even finding the fastest way to work.

Twitter continues to experiment and try new methods of engagement for its users, from shuffling the order of tweets to embedding payable GIFs in tweets.

Teaming up with Lookup is the latest step in that direction. Lookup is an app that connects customers to local shops and businesses over chats. If you’re out of milk and it’s too cold to get out of the quilt, signing into the app and texting the nearest dairy should get milk delivered to your doorstep. Courtesy of their recent partnership with Twitter, anyone tweeting to @lookuplite can get the same services without the app.

But, you’ll have to make sure you get all the details of your request put down in 140 characters. Whether it’s bills, chores, fumigation or electrical work, just tweet to @lookuplite and they will have the job taken care of.

Mumbai Police also realised the potential of tweets as a medium to raise alarms and thus, signed up on Twitter this week. Citizens can now report or complain with tweets that their teams will be sifting through and forwarding for further consideration. The Mumbai police commissioner has also joined the site too and will be tweeting under the handle @CPMumbaiPolice (https://twitter.com/CPMumbaiPolice).

Closer to home, Twitter will help users navigate the Capital that will start experimenting with a radical road rationing formula from January 1. Agency reports indicate the government of Delhi plans to increase the number of public transport vehicles to deal with the situation arising of the odd-even rule. But that just solves half of the problem, the rest will be taken care of with help from Google and Twitter. The two tech titans will be the prime location for live updates on public transport. This isn’t a completely new feature though, @RidlrDEL (previously @TrafflineDEL ), besides their offline transport app, also served as a source for live traffic updates. They would inform followers of traffic congestions and accidents in real time with information crowdsourced from users all over the city.

Twitter has many use cases — sharing via tweets, getting in touch with mentions or looking for opinion over polls — and even complex applications (buying, selling or publishing) start with the same sign up form that everyone signs up with. This uniformity in accounts and services works well because it keeps the laws of twitter affected only dependent on how much it’s used over how.