Founded in March of 2006, Twitter is social networking and micro-blogging site that allows users to post their latest updates. An update is limited by 140 characters and can be posted through three methods: web form, text message, or instant message. The company has been busy adding features to the product like Gmail import and search. They recently launched a new site section called “Explore” for external and third party tools that interact with Twitter and a new visualization tool called Twitter Blocks.
The service was started by Obvious Corp, who also started Odeo.
Launch Date March 1, 2006
Tags twitter, communication, text, messages
Twitter allows users to post text updates via SMS, instant messaging, email, Twitter’s website and third party applications. Users have their own profile page that displays their latest updates. In addition, users can become “friends” with one another, or simply be a “follower.” Other than reading another person’s profile page, a user can also receive others’ updates through text messages, RSS or third party applications.
Twitter itself is a free service, though users may have to pay text messaging charges to the phone carriers.
SO: back to the question: Why do I love Twitter? I choose to follow certain industry luminaries, or people that reside within certain industries I am interested in, or to find out events, breaking news, provide feedback- it's like a real-time conversation in a global room with a bazillion acquaintances. I have even found some candidates that are of interest to me on there and am able to reach out to them real-time.Many times there is a link to their blog or homepage on their Twitter profile.
I chose to follow certain folks and sites, and one of them happened to be Tony Hsieh, CEO and founder of Zappos.com. He made a great promo move and announced to all of his Twitter followers that he would provide airfare and lodging for 2, for 2 nights, to Las Vegas (company HQ), and have lunch with him and a tour of HQ. So, me being the internet junkie that I am, threw my name in the hat and lo, and behold, I WON THE CONTEST out of perhaps thousands. Flabbergasted to say the least. So, pretty cool story.
Anyhoo- I would say that for recruiters it's a tool that needs to be used wisely, as there are many people you could be following (great post here on Too Many or Too Little? The Art of Following People on Twitter) and that can be distracting; However you can reach a targeted audience by posting new events within your company or reaching out to people directly and be appraised of events within your industry and glean real-time competitive intelligence.
I use a desktop client such as Twhirl to be notified of real time information (also known as Tweets). This is going to get bigger than its britches, I have a feeling, and I hope that Twitter keeps it organic....