December 10, 2010
Twitter has reported an overwhelming 100 million new accounts created in 2010, making it one of the fastest growing databases for up-to-the-minute personal information online. Facebook, which recently revealed having well over 500 million is still the largest.
The site boasts the use of small 140 character or less posts entered by users, called micro-blogs, which lets them post a single idea, link, or update on their whereabouts. This service launched in 2007 and quickly took off due to its simplicity and open API allowing mobile developers to easily add the service to applications that tie in to other social networks or stand alone as managers for sometimes multiple Twitter accounts.
According to Mashable, 72% of Twitter’s users use their accounts to post personal details about their lives, activities, and interests. 62% use it to share information about their work either on an official or unofficial basis.
On the other side, Twitter is a powerful engine for sharing news and spreading the word about events and protests. Alex Jones has an official Twitter page dedicated to spreading the word about hot news topics, guests and special segments on the show, and sharing images.
With the grand total of users up to 200 million, Twitter’s growth rate can be held as a sign of the growing interest in social networking as a whole. The question remains as to who benefits most from these services, activists and event coordinators sharing news and organizing events, or those that want to collect and database our every thought and movement?