To what extent has Twitter become effective in communication

MUSCAT: Over the past few years, social media channels have spread rapidly. They became the main source of getting news and communicating with others for millions of people over the world. One of these social media is Twitter. Twitter is online news and social networking services where people can post and communicate with others through messages that are called tweets.
The idea of Twitter came when group of employees at the podcasting company Odeo gathered to think and create a new product that competes with other technology’s companies. One of them called Jack Dorsey came with an idea of SMS based communication platform where users can share with each other what they are doing based on status updates. Dorsey developed his project and it became a popular web platform.
Twitter offers a great opportunity for people to reach a global audience through millions of users and over a million tweets being send each day. Not only the public use twitter but also a lot of business and companies use it in different ways. It is not important what type of position you have, all management level got benefits from twitter application. A CEO strengthening their personal brand and goals, a retailer promoting their new products, marketing department connect and deal direct with customer.
Twitter is being used as a tool for education. In instance, the University of Vienna, Austria, instructors used twitter as an evaluation platform for student ratings via writing a tweet after each lecture to the teacher summarising the lessons learned. Moreover, twitter is useful in emergency communication. For example, The American Red Cross started using twitter to exchange minute by minute information about local disasters including statistics and directions.
During 2017 twitter did many changes to attract more users and to keep their performance high as possible. Twitter just doubled the character limit for tweets from 140 to 280, which make users much comfortable. Twitter is testing the ‘’Light’’ version of its application which it suitable in countries with limited connection network. In addition, twitter prevents adverse and violent tweets, any one do that, they will close his account.
Only two years after its establishment, twitter recorded six million users by 2008, which increased to 54 million users in 2010. Twitter user’s platform increased by 99.3 per cent since 2010 to reach 328 million active users worldwide by second quarter in 2017. Around 20 per cent of current users are located in the United States and the rest 80 per cent are distributed to the rest of the world. Twitter continued to generate revenues from advertising services and data licensing. Its revenues increased dramatically from $41 million in 2011 to reach $574 million by the second quarter in 2017.
Talking about twitter in the Arab Region, Saudi Arabia is taking the biggest stake in number of active users of 29 per cent of total Arab users. Oman’s users constitute only two per cent. Twitter is a male dominant in Arab regions where male users constitute more than 56 per cent.
Omani male users are accounting for 71 per cent of total Omani users. Moreover, 90 per cent of users in Oman access their account through mobile devices.
To summarise, twitter is reflecting what is happening in the world and what people are talking about right now.
(Authored by Eman al Abri, Moza al Abri, Bushra al Hinai and Hajer al Ghafri all studnets of the Information Systems Department, College of Economics and Political Science, Sultan Qaboos University)