March 6, 2012 by admin · Comments Off
Lady Gaga can’t be beat, not even by Justin Bieber. Gaga’s Twitter following has swelled beyond 20 million, a first for any Twitter user. Behind Gaga is Justin Bieber, with a hefty Twitter following count of over 18 million. With varying degrees of snark, professional Twitter rubberneckers have noted that the Biebs posts 10 times as much as Gaga, and still the top spot eludes him.
Last May, Lady Gaga was also the first person to attain 10 million Twitter followers. Approximately two years before that date, Ashton Kutcher famously bested CNN in a widely publicized race to be the first Twitter account with 1 million followers.
To a big extent, Gaga’s millionaire numbers reflect not only on her own massive popularity but also on the exponential growth of Twitter itself — a lot more people are using the service to communicate, follow news, and coordinate massive civil uprisings.
What’s fueling the explosive growth? The fact that social networks of all stripes are becoming mainstream (Facebook is on its way to a billion users) and cellphone users (just about everybody) are switching by the droves to smartphones, which are especially friendly to the succinct postings of the Twitterverse.
Above, a riant Gaga holds up her mic.
February 14, 2012 by admin · Comments Off
It’s that special day in February — the one where colorful, if chalky, tiny candy hearts are passed out along with frilly chocolate boxes, flowers, and hastily written love notes! In honor of Valentine’s Day, the folks over at NM Incite, a division of Nielsen/McKinsey, decided to study how conversation about the holiday looked and sounded on Twitter.
What was uncovered? Surprise, surprise: female Twitter users are a bit gabbier than their male counterparts when discussing Valentine’s Day, and they also evince a more positive outlook about the holiday than men. Cue in melodramatic griping about the want of equity in the division of the pecuniary burdens of dating.
Though NM Incite’s conclusions line up with cultural expectations (to the chagrin of a few), those who revel in reinforcing conventional wisdom will have extra ammo this year while pontificating before skeptical friends on the topic — a tidy infographic NM Incite created to accompany its findings.
By the data sifter’s account, after combing through 70,000 tweets posted between Feb. 10 and Feb. 12, they realized that women mentioned the holiday at a rate that nearly doubled that of men. Another nugget: it seems that 36 percent of the sample women twitterers find themselves dateless this Tuesday; the figure is 25 percent for men. NM Incite’s advice: take a breather from Twitter (and ask someone out).
January 5, 2012 by admin · Comments Off
Kanye West, who’s touring with Jay-Z, and whose daring and gorgeous album “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy” was the toast of 2010 and 2011, has just put out a huge For Hire ad on his, let’s say it, acclaimed Twitter feed. Scientists, designers, writers, social media experts, tech guys (and gals), and even nutritionists are asked to reach out and participate in DONDA, West’s still-in-formation, 22-division “design company.”
The company is named after his mother, Donda West, who died in November 2007 after undergoing elective plastic surgery. Mrs. West was a literature scholar and the former Chair of the English department at Chicago State University.
In his tweets, West proclaims his willingness to invest in creativity and his commitment to making a difference in the world using his talent for “connectivity,” his resources, and his access to the world’s movers and shakers.
Kanye says, “I invest every dime back into creativity… hiring amazing creatives paying for flights, offices … etc…” and continues with “DONDA is a design company which will galvanize amazing thinkers and put them in a creative space to bounce there dreams and ideas…”
If you’re looking for a job, hear ‘Ye out: “If anyone would like to reach out email us at contactDONDA@gmail.com.”
December 14, 2011 by admin · Comments Off
Reportedly, “Winning!” and “Ray’s Pizza!” is how Charlie Sheen was answering his cell phone last week after the torrent of calls and text messages started coming in: he had inadvertently tweeted publicly a direct message disclosing his phone number. His online followers did not wait a second before commencing the serial retweeting and dialing of the once-privileged digits. As if that weren’t enough to cause a media riot by itself, the kicker was that the would-be direct message was sent to @justinbieber, the person whose unquestioned dominance in the Twitterverse forced Jack Dorsey’s group to recalibrate the trending formulas.
To go by captured screen shots, Sheen’s would-be direct message to Justin Bieber read: “310-954-7277 Call me bro. C.” Although questions remain about why Sheen wanted Bieber to call him, many are probably relieved that the message didn’t contain anything scandalous beyond the individuals involved in the exchange. Sheen, who’s seen his share of controversy, was the object of unrivaled attention earlier this year after a tumultuous exit from “Two and a Half Men” and his subsequent replacement by Ashton Kutcher as the show’s lead. Sheen has a Twitter following that exceeds 5.5 million while Justin Bieber comes in second only to Lady Gaga.
December 12, 2011 by admin · Comments Off
The beloved funk band The Time has a new name and a new single, and both are making headlines. The Original 7ven, as the band is now known, recently debuted “#Trendin,” which may or may not constitute the first hashtag as song title. The track is also further proof of Twitter’s unfaltering progress in lodging itself in the American cultural imagination. But the best news is that the song’s actually good! You’ll have a good-natured chuckle after taking in an earful and hanker after a lyrical belt-out, if not a jam session.
So beware: next time you’re getting down at a house party, it’s likely you’ll find yourself making emphatic head banging motions (à la Jellybean Johnson) between alternate shouts of “We trendin!” and entreaties to your dance floor cohorts, with earnestness and feeling, to “tweet it up ‘yall!” It’s also foreseeable that these will proceed to do just that, because as anyone who’s been out lately knows, people now dance with iPhones in hand — all the better to capture the awkward and suave moves of their “tweetie pie.”
The group has been grooving since 1981. A few years ago they performed their classic “Jungle Love” with Rihanna on the Grammy stage, and last month they opened the Soul Train Music Awards. “#Trendin” is available on iTunes.
December 9, 2011 by admin · Comments Off
Earlier today, Twitter invited the press to its still-under-construction new digs on San Francisco’s busy Market Street to announce some big news: a site redesign is going live before January. The updates are meant to make Twitter even more engaging and interactive. The overriding principle for the adjustments seems to have been making the site more accessible and easy to use, for both ordinary people and for advertisers. As it could only have been expected, a hashtag has been created for the new Twitter design: #LetsFly.
Dick Costolo, Twitter’s CEO, was quoted as saying: We are going to offer simplicity in a world of complexity.” Those who attended the conference did not miss the fact that many of the redesign’s aspects harked back to the Jobs-ian/Ive-ian minimalist aesthetic. Jack Dorsey, Twitter’s co-founder and current executive chairman, has called Steve Jobs his “mentor from afar.”
Because the company is looking to court advertisers, it needs to demonstrate Twitter’s potential for attracting and retaining readers. With the new design, embedding and watching videos in tweets will be much simpler and pages for brands will have more space for content. As of now, the company has no plans to charge for this additional space, but it’s only open to Disney, Pepsi, American Express, and Dell. Twitter said brand pages would be available other users later on.
December 5, 2011 by admin · Comments Off
Chris Floyd, a popular photographer from the U.K., decided he wanted to meet his Twitter followers and take their mug while he was at it. The result is an exhibition that showed at the Foto8 Gallery in London last month. Tallied up, there are 140 subjects and the exhibit’s aptly titled “One Hundred and Forty Characters.”
Among these it’s possible to find some high-profile personages, including Lily Allen and Harry Potter’s Tom Felton. The portraits are in black and white. Stark, blank white is the only backdrop to Floyd’s Twitter followers, who were shot dressed in everyday clothes — simple dresses, slacks, and wrinkly button-downs or form-fitting tees. There are many group portraits and most individuals come out looking relaxed and goofy.
While chatting with the Daily Beast’s Tom Sykes, the London-based shutterbug gave his take on the marvelous, and the not-so-marvelous, of social media: the ability to crowdsource, banter, form friendships, and keep-up appearances, for better or worse. Nevertheless, the photographer has massive love for Twitter. He likens it to a “huge, massive, endless free-flowing conversation with lots of interesting, witty people,” and asks, “What’s not to like?”
The photograph shown is part of the exhibit, and in it one can see: @sarahdrinkwater, @isabelleOC, and @carolineno (hidden).
December 2, 2011 by admin · Comments Off
Twitter is making its way to big-time advertising, and the company is already demonstrating that it’s capable of turning a pretty penny. Jack Dorsey’s jaunty whale of a baby recently launched self-service advertising on a small scale, but it’s prepping the groundwork for a larger, well-executed, and calibrated lineup.
News of the ad service came from the lips of Adam Bain, Twitter’s Chief Revenue Officer. Bain said that for now, only a small group of businesses were being offered the service. Self-service advertising is a huge deal because that’s one of the avenues Google used to reach its gigantic proportions. According to reports by eMarketer, three-fifths of Facebook’s $3.8 billion grand total of advertising revenue in 2011 came from self-service ads.
Back at Twitter, Bain himself gave out two interesting numbers: Less than a year and a half ago, Twitter had six advertisers; today, it has 2,400. To tackle the added golden bulk, Twitter hired around 100 new staff. By eMarketer’s estimates, Twitter should be pulling in around $399.5 million in ad profits by 2013; that’s up from 2010’s $45 million showing.
That Twitter is stepping out thoughtfully bodes well for its future capacity to deal with spam and ad fraud. Above, Adam Bain grins for the camera.
November 28, 2011 by admin · Comments Off
Most people know that one’s social media presence must be well managed, lest potential employers, college admissions officers, or would-be beaux got the wrong idea. But what if your state governor was the one who got the wrong idea about you? That’s just the question Emma Sullivan, an eighteen-year-old high school senior from Kansas, had to grapple with last week.
Shortly before Thanksgiving break, Sullivan went to the Kansas state Capitol for a Youth in Government program. While there, she tweeted “Just made mean comments at gov brownback and told him he sucked, in person #heblowsalot.” The “he” in the tweet’s hashtag refers to Kansas Governor Sam Brownback, who’s a conservative Republican.
The governor’s sharp-eyed social media sleuths spotted the tweet and, rather quickly, the administrators at Emma Sullivan’s high school, Shawnee Mission East, issued a request that Sullivan address a letter of apology to the governor. The plucky teenager refused and her plight garnered mass media attention. A big spectacle was created and today the governor himself released a letter of apology to Sullivan, declaring: “My staff overreacted to this tweet, and for that I apologize. Freedom of speech is among our most treasured freedoms.”
Sullivan currently has 12,436 Twitter followers. For anyone who’s wondering, the governor has 3,285 followers.
Questlove Goes on a “Midnight Ride,” Tweets First Warning of Police Raid on Zuccotti Park’s OWS Encampment
November 16, 2011 by admin · Comments Off
Today, Questlove from The Roots is being hailed as the Occupy Wall Street movement’s Paul Revere. Approximately twenty minutes before midnight, Questlove, who’s also known as Ahmir Khalib Thompson, wrote in his Twitter feed that he saw a thousand police officers, geared up and ready for action, near the OWS encampment in Zuccotti Park. In shortened verse that even Longfellow would approve of, Questlove tweeted: “Omg, drivin down south st near #ows. Somethin bout to go down yo, swear I counted 1000 riot gear cops bout to pull sneak attack #carefulyall.” The timestamp on that first tweet read 11:39 p.m. EST.
The “Midnight Ride” he took was pure chance, but his resolve to warn the protestors via Twitter was not. Nevertheless, OWS leadership was not sure what to make of the warning, and there was a prolonged online debate about whether the excess police was due to a “shift change” or Christian Bale filming his “The Dark Knight Rises” scenes with many extras in tow. Less than ninety minutes later — throughout which Questlove continued to confirm his eyewitness account to Twitter readers — the police force arrived and began clearing out the park. OWS is regrouping and the episode confirms Twitter’s privileged status among popular, democratic movements around the world.