Twitter is a peculiar thing. With some 300 million active users around the globe, there seems to be not a single media company, news program, or celebrity on the planet without a Twitter account. And yet news of the company’s demise, imminent (failed) acquisition(s), and utter uselessness seem to permeate the internet, ironically, mostly throughout the Twitterverse. Go figure.
But Twitter isn’t going anywhere. Or at least, it better not. Indeed, I’ve been a vocal proponent of just how useful Twitter is; how it really hasn’t any viable substitute; and how for millions of people around the world, it isn’t just a nice thing to have, it’s a legitimate necessity just to stay alive. To wit, Twitter matters more today than when it first hatched 10 years ago, and it must not be allowed to fail. It’s simply too important.
Twitter is dead. Twitter is useless. Twitter is just for celebrities / trolls / prOn. (And walruses too, apparently.) Its signal-to-noise ratio is only slightly better than a nuclear explosion. Its growth has plateaued; nobody knows how to use it; it’s going to be acquired (and shut down); and in any event, it just plain doesn’t matter.
Except that it isn’t useless — not even slightly — and it does matter. It matters a lot. Arguably even more today, in the twilight of 2016, than when it first hatched, an incredible 10 years ago. Because nothing — no medium; no website; no blog; and no, not even Facebook — can rival it for the astonishing speed with which news and information propagates through the ether of the Twitterverse; the dependence of millions for its ability to quickly and easily communicate en masse; and the reliance by news and media agencies around the world to disseminate information to their legions of faithful followers.
Here are just three powerful examples of how Twitter has not only improved the world in which we live, but is in fact a very real and necessary thing in our digital and ever-connected world; a thing upon which we are now more or less dependent — at least for certain things — whether we realize it or not.