1. A website;
2. A way to communicate;
3. A newly-defined English word, to be published in dictionaries later this year.
So, what is Twitter?
Since its introduction to the internet in 2006, Twitter has grown in size but the original concept has remained the same.
"A free service that lets you keep in touch with people through the exchange of quick, frequent answers to one simple question: What are you doing?"
How It Works
Twitter users (who have signed up for free Twitter accounts) answer the above question, in the form of a short message, called tweets. Each Twitter user is able to control who reads his/her tweets by following the instructions and selecting what privacy settings are desired.
You can have the whole Twitter community aware of your posts, or only a few close friends, family members or co-workers. Those who have access to your Tweets are called "Followers".
Tweets are posted through SMS-messages, which users can directly send to Twitter from cell phones. The tweets/messages can be up to 140 characters long.
An Updated, Global Community
Twitter has blossomed into a global networking site used by millions of users worldwide.
Similar in concept to Facebook, MySpace, and other social networking sites, Twitter enables communication and social interaction, among people spread across the globe, who might not even yet know one another.
Presidents and other politicians make use of its wide-reaching audience, but artists, musicians, athletes, writers and basically anyone with anything to say can benefit from Twitter's free means of expression.
Famous Twitters Include:
President Obama ; Arnold Schwarzenegger ; Britney Spears ; Eli Manning ; Shaquille O'Neal ; John McCain ; Snoop Dog ; Will Ferrell ; MC Hammer and Al Gore.
The Latest Twitter Development - In the Dictionary!
It was recently announced by major publishing company HarperCollins that the word Twitter will be included in the Collins English Dictionary - a 30th anniversary printed edition scheduled for publication later this year.
Twitter's inclusion into a printed dictionary symbolizes its powerful influence and effect on the English language - and the way in which we communicate. Through posting short, simple messages (in English!) we stay updated on each other's lives / actions / emotions - all controlled by each individual user.
Why This News Matters
So how does this information affect the English-speaking/writing world?
As writers and speakers of the English language, Twitter could be an excellent way to stay informed and tuned-in to the world around us, however small or large we choose to define that world.
This means we can learn more, in simpler terms, about what truly matters to us - pretty exciting news, don't you think?!
Follow us on Twitter!
Or “Like” us on Facebook!