Twitter is a social media platform characterised by its 140-character limit and the spread of news from across the world. But theres so much more to it than this. People have taken to using Twitter in a range of other ways. In this article, we discuss some of the cool ways people have been using this social media network.
1. Short Fiction
One way to use Twitter is by publishing short fiction. Jennifer Egan has done this in collaboration with The New Yorker. Each night at the same time she publishes a new Tweet, which reveals the next part of the story. It allows her to control the suspense and it keeps encouraging readers to come back and find out more.
Arjun Basu does the same. Using this Twitter handle, 140-character short stories appear every so often. They dont necessarily link together, and theres usually something different for all types of readers.
2. Directors Commentary
The end of DVDs meant the end of the special features area, which naturally meant the loss of director commentaries. To remedy this problem, directors, actors, and anyone else involved with film started to engage in live Twitter commentaries online during live public screenings.
For example, Anna Kendrick posts live Tweets during NBCs Sound of Music Special. Random observations in real-time spread internationally and gains the show (and herself) even more exposure.
Many live shows even track what major figures are saying about the show on Twitter via the use of hashtags.
3. Fighting Crime
Dr. Matthew Greber came up with the idea of predicting crime using Tweets with geo-tagging. Using the Greber method, he uses language indicators to hone in on what people are talking about and where they are. Once enough data has been gathered on a certain area, it can be used to predict when and where a crime is going to happen.
The police have yet to implement this program, but the NYPD has already expressed interest in this technology. As it continues to be refined, police forces across the world may well start to use Twitter as a crime fighting tool.
4. Twitter Shopping
Twitter has hinted at the creation of an eCommerce service for a long time now. It would allow users to purchase products and services directly through Tweets. On the mobile version of the social media network, we have already seen the Buy Now button, so it could very well appear within the next year.
Amazon has also announced that users can shop directly through the platform. Now shoppers can add items to a cart through the use of hashtags. All Twitter users have to do is add the hashtag #AmazonCart and the item will automatically find its way into your cart on the website.
In theory, this will enable sellers to take advantage of faster impulse buys because it removes many of the steps buyers have to go through to complete the purchasing process.
The number of young people using Twitter is massive. Naturally, educators see this as an opportunity to reach a large audience. Teachers have already started using it in schools to encourage live discussions on certain topics using hashtags. Many schools see this as a way of speaking to quieter students who prefer not to speak up in class.
Some parts of the world have also used Twitter as a form of homework. Again, using a specific hashtag students are expected to leave comments outside of school. Teachers can follow the conversations and use what students Tweet to engineer future lessons.
In short, Twitter has acted as a replacement for many of the more expensive, custom engagement platforms used in previous years.