This skeptic is beginning to like and use Twitter more, but why?
Let me start with a little confession: I've been a little bit of a skeptic when it comes to the "microblogging" platform Twitter. I think I just saw it as a social media platform much lamer than the likes of Facebook or Google+. After all, what can you do with a measly 140 characters, right?
I'm coming around, though, and I actually enjoy using it now. Let me share some of my reasoning with you.
Short can be good
You know how I mentioned I didn't think you could do much with 140 characters? Well, the more I thought about it, the more I realized that there's a reason people often prefer things to be "short and sweet" and what I originally thought was a weakness could actually be one of Twitter's strengths. On other social media platforms, like Facebook, you may get long posts. Sure, you could skip those longer posts (and I often do), but there's something to be said for the ability to quickly get the gist of lots of information.
Tailorable news stream
This is arguably one of Twitter's best features. What you see in your timeline (basically like Facebook's Newsfeed, or where you see what the people you follow post) is very much determined by the organizations and people you decide to follow. As you follow more things that pique your interest, your timeline will become more interesting to you. If you're interested in technology (and we imagine you are if you're reading this blog), you can follow a bunch of tech-related Twitter accounts, like @androidcentral. You may be able to tell a lot about a person by what they choose to have appear in their timeline.
Some sites, like Android Central, will show links to published stories on their respective Twitter accounts. If you stay on top of your Twitter timeline, you'll be able to see the latest published stories so you know what to expect when you get there. Of course, not all sites will tweet links to all the stories they publish, but Twitter is a great way to find news and other content you want to read.
See what other people think about certain topics
We all think a little differently. I really enjoy seeing what other people think and have to say about various topics. Twitter makes it easy to sort through the vast marketplace of ideas.
To see what other people are saying about specific topics, all you have to do is search for them. Just be sure to put a pound sign in front of the term. For example, let's go back to the World Cup, which had it's own hashtag, #WorldCup2014. You could search this hashtag, then get an idea what Twitter users were saying, often as it happened.
What were people saying about #WorldCup2014 anyway? Stuff like this
You know, I miss the World Cup, too. Hurry, next time.
Different clients make Twitter even more customizable
I came to like Twitter even more as I played around with different Twitter clients, or apps, to find the best ones out there. Some apps, like Talon, look really nice and are pretty easy to use. Other apps, like Tweedle, focus on making it as easy as possible to tweet. Apps such as Plume add some great functionality, like the ability to filter out tweets regarding topics you're tired of hearing about. The client you use may add personality to Twitter and make the user experience even better. For me, that adds a lot to the joy of using Twitter.
An easy way to reach out
Twitter makes it easy for CEOs and higher-ups to let people know what's going on in their organizations. It also makes it easy for ordinary people to reach out to said higher-ups to ask questions or share feedback. There's no guarantee that you'll receive a response from them, but somebody in the company will probably at least read your tweets.
Take this as an example: I asked @JohnLegere, the ever-entertaining CEO of T-Mobile USA, about LTE in my hometown. Now T-Mobile will know that there is at least one person there who wants LTE from the company.
It's a game
Although I still don't feel like I have much to say on Twitter, sometimes I make a game out of seeing how I can type what I want to say in 140 characters or less. Am I weird? Definitely. Do I have fun? You know it.
What do you think?
These certainly aren't the only reasons to like Twitter, but they're some of the things I like most about it. What do you like (or dislike) about Twitter?