UPDATED 00:14 EDT / JULY 26 2016


Twitter explains why it’s more relevant than people might think

You don’t have to tweet every day to use Twitter, says Twitter Inc. in a fresh marketing push designed to let us know the myriad uses of the platform. One of those uses, says Twitter, according to research the company has been conducting over the last few months, is simply to see what’s going on in the world. You want to keep abreast of global news, then Twitter is the go-to platform, is the message we are are told.

The move seems to be an attempt to pull your average Joe with not much to tweet about towards the platform. Twitter tells us it should explain what it’s really about. “Twitter is where you go to see what’s happening everywhere in the world right now,” Leslie Berland, CMO of Twitter, said in a blog post, “From breaking news and entertainment to sports and politics – from big events to everyday interests with all the live commentary that makes Twitter unique.”

Twitter has a good point, and perhaps some people need to be reminded how the platform has evolved over the years. It’s where the #BlackLivesMatter hashtag started, which became a campaign much of the world can’t have missed. Hashtag activism, while sometimes criticized as being slacktivism, can be a rip-roaring way to spread a message. This, and the fact Twitter usage numbers have not exactly been healthy over the last few years, is the reason Twitter is now refreshing its marketing campaign.

Talking about Twitter on a global scale the company also said that its research revealed, “Ninety percent of people globally recognize the Twitter brand. Ninety percent!” Did Twitter mean 90 percent of respondents in the research study? Considering more than half of the world’s population are still not using the internet it seems like a bold claim.

Regardless, Twitter is a place where things happen that can create shifts in public sentiment, where the vox populi has found a place to air concerns in 140 characters or less. It’s also become a hotbed of controversy relating to freedom of speech on the internet. Only recently “internet supervillain” Milo Yiannopoulos was banned from the site for bad behavior. He says this spells the end for the platform, but that’s highly unlikely.

It’s also highly unlikely that you’re reading this and still don’t actually know how to use, or how best to use Twitter. However, if that’s the case, The Guardian recently put together a Twitter for Dummies guide for the uninitiated.

Photo credit: Alan Levine via Flickr

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