After resisting for about a year from talking about Twitter, I finally have to say something.
CNN “bought” the top Twitter account, which has 947,000 followers. The “sale” is not official because that violates Twitter’s terms of service, so the actual amount has not been disclosed. When the purchase was made, second place was Ashton Kutcher, followed by Britney Spears. Kutcher challenged CNN to be the first to get to one million followers, which he has the first to do.
What a world we live in now, where a regular guy can have almost one million followers on a website, beating celebrities, then sell his list to a major media outlet.
I have mixed feelings about this. First, let me say that when I was made aware of Twitter about a year ago, I wrote a post (that I did not publish) about how stupid the idea was. Then I remembered that I said the exact same thing about Myspace when they first came out so I realized that Twitter would be big as well, if my record held up. Which apparently it has.
But I digress.
In case you have lived in a cave, Twitter is a social networking website that allows users to have “followers” that are sent short messages from the user via SMS messages on their cell phones. Basically, it’s a opt-in, SMS mailing list in real time. It’s been used to get big news items out of India during the terrorist attacks, and during the Olympics.
What amazes me is that a regular person can get almost one million people to be interested enough in what he’s doing to sign up as a follower. He must have an amazing life because I don’t even want to be a follower for my own life, let alone somebody I don’t even know.
At first, it seemed like a big waste of time. But now that this guy has “sold” his account to CNN, maybe it’s not a big waste of time. Maybe it’s a way to make money. Spammers will get on this next for sure, and buying up big accounts so that they can spam followers.
Twitter hasn’t figured out how to monetize their business yet. I imagine it shouldn’t be that hard to add a little advertising at the end of each message they send out. Even if the message is just “… this message brought to you by…”
Just about the time people moved over to Facebook, I started to use Myspace. So, when Twitter becomes last years’ news, I’ll be signing up.