Twitter Turns 5

Twitter turned 5 on Monday.

TwitterToday it has 200 million users and is a broadcast channel for major news events, including the plane in the Hudson River and the tsunami in Japan. It’s become a communications tool during political uprisings.

I confess, I am not a big Twitter user, but it has still impacted me, and for the very reasons that Twitter’s cofound Jack Dorsey said about Twitter in a Money interview:

“The big thing I learned from Twitter are these concepts of immediacy, transparency, and approachability,” Dorsey says. “I think Twitter’s done a very good job for the communications industry.” 

When I’m communicating I write my headlines and subject lines of emails so that they are concise and that the meaning is clear. I think about what I would say if I had to tweet the article. If I can’t quickly identify the purpose of the piece, it needs to be rewritten.

Twitter may not be for everyone, but its lessons offer solid foundations for effective communications.