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The Northerner

Look out, here comes Twitter!

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A warning to MySpace and Facebook: it may be time to surrender your thrones. A new social-networking site has hit the scene – and it goes by the name of Twitter.

Twitter.com, a ‘micro-blogging’ service, was created in 2006. As described on the site, ‘Twitter is a service for friends, family and coworkers to communicate through the exchange of quick, frequent answers to one simple question: What are you doing?’

Subscribers to the free service answer this question while being limited to a mere 140 characters per message, or ‘Tweet,’ as referred to by its more than 5 million users. In addition, users are able to ‘follow’ other users- essentially electing to receive automatic updates to their home page each time a new ‘Tweet’ is posted by somebody they are following.

Adding to its convenience are the numerous applications that allow users to access Twitter without the use of a computer. ‘Twitterrific’ on the iPhone, ‘Twitterberry’ on the Blackberry and ‘DSTwitter’ on the Nintendo DS all allow subscribers to post and read from any location that their device receives a signal.

While Twitter may be a great way to keep up with the thoughts and actions of your friends and family members, others are using the site quite differently.

CNN, The New York Times and NPR all rank among the 25 most followed Twitter pages, regularly utilizing the site to share breaking news with the world. President Barack Obama ‘Tweeted’ his message to more than 200,000 followers throughout his quest for the presidency. Britney Spears, Diddy, Nastia Liukin and Ashton Kutcher are on Twitter too.

A year ago the site ranked’ the 14th most frequented social-networking site. Today its popularity is surpassed only by Facebook and MySpace – both created years before Twitter.

It might not be long before Myspace and Facebook become a thing of the past. In a world where people are always on the go, 140 characters might be all the time they have to communicate with each other.

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The Independent Student Newspaper of Northern Kentucky University.
Look out, here comes Twitter!