Twitter wants you to know what exactly Twitter is

Top Twitter China executive leaves the company
What exactly is Twitter?

Those who have been using Twitter for almost a decade now know that Twitter is a social networking platform in its truest form. It helps you broadcast your message to your followers whether you have five followers, 50 followers, 500 followers, 5000 followers, or more. It’s a broadcasting platform. You can also call it a multimedia mass-messaging platform. Whatever you want to say, you post it on Twitter and people who have opted to see your updates, can see your message immediately. Then it’s up to them what they want to do with the message. They can view it and leave it at that. They can retweet it and share the same message with their own followers. They can respond to your message.

But yes, there are millions of prospective Twitter users who don’t know exactly what Twitter is. In order to help people understand what Twitter is, the company has launched a new ad campaign. The name of the campaign is “See what’s happening”.

Twitter declared its new ad campaign, using a Twitter update of course

To be frank, from the video it is still not very clear whether Twitter is a news broadcasting service, a messaging service, or, as it is well known among its old-time users, a social networking/messaging service. For example, if suddenly your father asks, “what is Twitter?”, how do you respond? Very few can explain it in a single, simple sentence what Twitter is.

If the video is any indication, instead of projecting itself as a hub of social interaction, Twitter wants people to use its service to know about the world. To “see what’s happening” rather than talk about what’s happening. Might be a confusing message.

Twitter agrees that 90% people in the world (people who might have been exposed to it) recognise Twitter as a brand, but most don’t have a clue what it means, according to this official blog post by Leslie Berland, Twitter CMO.

With the upcoming US presidential elections perhaps this is the right time to project Twitter as a go-to platform where people can login and not just get the latest updates about the political turn of events, but also share their own views and opinions. “Views and opinions” is a major feature of Twitter that the video fails to highlight.

If you really want to know what exactly Twitter is, this Guardian article refers to a comprehensive Twitter glossary.

About Amrit Hallan
Amrit Hallan is the founder of He writes about technology not because "he loves to write about technology", he actually believes that it makes the world a better place. On Twitter you can follow him at @amrithallan

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