With the news yesterday of Twitter it’s pretty impressive how far this application has come in a short time.

I’d have to say upfront I’m a big fan. I’m a regular social media user bordering on a junkie perhaps and I can’t get enough of or say enough good things about Twitter. I love its short succinct messages down to 140 characters and its ability to send out shortened URL’s that allow me to link to all kinds of sites and information on the fly.

Facebook seems to be getting more and more cluttered with the amount of information and applications embedded into it.

Twitter can seem like a complicated mess of messages and missed meanings but it’s actually a powerful tool that it many ways has revolutionized how we communicate.

The “tweet” has become part of our daily dialogue and who really can go through a day without wondering what’ s been happening on Twitter or what a celebrity might have tweeted.

The application itself started as an internal service for employees of the Odeo company. With its first successful public unveiling in 2006 and upgrade to the new Twitter in 2010, It eventually spunoff and became a successful company in its own right and has really never looked back.

Twitter is built on the idea of microblogging, which means that short status updates are sent out through a personal profile. This personal profile is created by a user and resides on a microblogging website such as Twitter. These sites are free and you simply need to create an ID and sign up. You can make your profile private or public. You then simply search for potential people you want to follow or often any company website that you visit will have a twitter icon that will link to that company’s profile.

It seems that virtually anyone is one twitter these days, be it companies or people. The real appeal of micro blogging app such as Twitter is that its easy to get information on the fly. Things happen in real time and with mobile phones now being more prevalent than computers, you can tap into these services whenever you want.  Provided you are plugged in all the time, you will never miss a beat or rather the latest tweet!

Twitter is not the be all and end all of microblogging apps though and is often limited by heavy network usage and the infamous fail whale. Plurk and Jaiku are two others that are available, without perhaps the high profile of Twitter. These sites initially offered some features that Twitter didn’t have and both boast strong usage.

Jaiku started in 2006 and was purchased by Google in 2007. It allows for 100 character messages while Plurk uses 140 character messages.

So there you have it a quick summary and plug for Twitter and microblogging. Whether this trend like many social media trends sticks around long term remains to be seen but for now enjoy it and use it, it may be gone before too long!

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