Chapter 1. Catching Twitter's Coat Tails

In This Chapter

  • Why Twitter is a compelling platform

  • The rationale behind building a Twitter app

A few years ago a small Web site called Twitter appeared on the Internet. Twitter is kind of like a blog, but your posts must be less than 140 characters. Twitter users call their posts tweets. Of course, your tweets have to be that small to be sent as a text message to your followers. That's Twitter lingo for subscribers to your Twitter updates, usually your friends, family, and fans. As it turns out, my dad is one of my biggest fans. All of my small daily updates about my life go straight to his cell phone. Likewise, all of his updates go to my phone. This way we get to share little things we wouldn't otherwise take the time to call and talk about. This helps bring us closer together, even though we live miles apart.

The idea of keeping in touch with friends and family is comforting and increases Twitter's appeal, but Twitter has even larger implications.

Why Do People Tweet?

You already know one reason I tweet, to stay close to friends and family. But there are several other reasons why people might be compelled to get involved with Twitter. Here are a few examples:

  • Stay in touch with friends and family.

  • Get instant advice from friends.

  • Meet new people.

  • Keep informed of stock market trends.

  • Build cool stuff with their open API.

  • Build a business around Twitter.

  • Promote a business with Twitter and interact with customers.

  • Get involved in politics.

  • Stay informed ...

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