7 Reasons Why You Should Be Using Twitter

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twitter bird white on blue   7 Reasons Why You Should Be Using TwitterTwitter has now been with us for seven years and counting, having celebrated its seventh birthday on March 21, 2013. This was seven years to the day since Jack Dorsey sent out the first tweet in 2006, at a time when the micro-blogging social network was known simply as twttr.

Twitter was originally an internal service for employees of Odeo but entered into the public domain in July 2006. By 2007 early adopters and tech bloggers had started to use Twitter, and the service has grown every year since then. In 2009 it benefited from the Oprah Effect, hitting the mainstream in a big, bad way. Those who are interested can read Twitter’s full origin story.

However, despite now boasting more than 200 million active users Twitter is lagging a long way behind Facebook and its userbase of 1 billion-plus. Those who haven’t yet succumbed to the lure of Twitter seem unlikely to ever do so, and they’re missing out on an exciting and intoxicating experience. Which is a crying shame.

What follows are seven reasons why you should be using Twitter, the ‘seven’ representing the number of years Twitter has been around for. Even if you have so far rejected the social network either out of ignorance or a lack of desire, I urge you to read on and at least consider giving it a go.

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Interesting People

tweeting on smartphone   7 Reasons Why You Should Be Using Twitter

We all want to surround ourselves with interesting people, don’t we? Sadly not all of us get the chance to do that in the real world. You’re tied to your family by blood, and while other people are your friends for a reason (meaning you should get on with them extremely well) that doesn’t mean they’ll have anything particularly interesting to say.

Twitter is meant not for friends and family but for people you actually want to communicate with. You can follow anyone and anyone can follow you. There’s none of the mutual agreeing to be friends required by Facebook, so if you want to follow 500 complete strangers then that’s your right. If none follow you back then it doesn’t matter a jot.

TL;DR: Twitter is full of people with things to say, and you can listen.

Breaking News

breaking news   7 Reasons Why You Should Be Using Twitter

Twitter has proved its worth in recent years as a platform for breaking news. The simplicity of the site means that the first think many people at the scene of a developing news story do is to tweet about it. A few retweets later and the news has spread. This has led to Twitter beating traditional news outlets to a story on many occasions.

Even if you don’t want to actively tweet yourself, you can use Twitter as a source for breaking news. By following news aggregators, rolling news channels, and journalists, you can get the inside scoop of a story long before it hits the mainstream news outlets.

TL;DR: Who needs newspapers when Twitter usually beats them?

Tracking Trends

hashtags trends   7 Reasons Why You Should Be Using Twitter

As well as breaking news Twitter is a fine resource for tracking online trends. If a YouTube video is going viral then it will be getting shared on Twitter. If a new meme is spreading like wildfire then it will appear on Twitter. If a celebrity has done something newsworthy but has managed to avoid the news leaking to the mainstream press it will likely appear on Twitter.

Hashtags also figure into this, and most of the Trends listed on Twitter use this simple method of assigning a particular subject to a tweet. You can tailor Twitter trends to suit you, switching from ‘Worldwide’ to those emerging from a particular country.

TL;DR: Trending hashtags can tune you into the zeitgeist.

Company Contact

brand logos   7 Reasons Why You Should Be Using Twitter

Companies love Twitter. Your favorite brand is highly likely to have a presence on the site, whatever product they sell or service they provide. Twitter is a great tool for brands to promote themselves and their products, but they are unable to push their wares onto consumers without consumers pushing back.

Twitter represents one of the quickest and easiest ways to contact a company to get instant customer service. The response you receive may not be as fine-tuned as you would get by speaking to a person on the phone, but at least you won’t be kept on hold for hours before you get that attention.

TL;DR: Get a quick response by embarrassing a brand on Twitter.

Celebrity Access

hollywood star kermit   7 Reasons Why You Should Be Using Twitter

Celebrities love Twitter too. While not every famous person is present on the site, a high percentage are. The celebrities get another platform to promote themselves and their latest film/television show/book/perfume, and in return their fans gain a new way of accessing their heroes.

While those who are really keen on certain famous people have always found ways to talk to them, Twitter makes it very simple indeed. If a celebrity is on Twitter then anyone else on Twitter can send a message to them. They may even respond. Indeed, I’ve communicated with several celebrities on Twitter in this way.

TL;DR: Tweeting a celebrity beats stalking them.

Creative Outlet

creativity poster   7 Reasons Why You Should Be Using Twitter

Most of the entries so far have outlined reasons to follow other Twitter users, such as girl geeks and popular scientists. But you can easily turn this on its head by instead creating a Twitter presence that others want to follow. You’re only limited by your creativity.

You can start a Twitter account about anything, as long as you abide by the rules set forth by the company. You may want to parody a famous person, write short poetry, recount witty anecdotes, or tell lame jokes. Twitter gives you a certain sense of anonymity to plumb the depths of your creativity.

TL;DR: Be imaginative with themed tweets.

140 Characters

140 characters tweet   7 Reasons Why You Should Be Using Twitter

If you’re anything like me you have a short attention span. You can read novels, in-depth features, and articles several thousand words long, but there are times when you’d rather not have to. This lack of attention span is why TL;DR (Too Long; Didn’t Read) became so popular, and it has also certainly helped foster the popularity of Twitter.

You only have 140 characters to say what you want to say in a tweet (excluding URLs). This means people are forced to get to the point quickly, paring the facts down to their core essence. Sure, there may be a link to a longer news story, but it’s surprising how much information you can consume purely from reading tweets.

TL;DR: 140 characters makes TL;DR redundant.


If you’re already a fan of Twitter then do you think this list sums up the best reasons others should try the site for themselves? Is there another, perhaps better, reason why? If you’re not on Twitter yet has this article made you consider signing up to see if it’s for you? If not, why not? What is the one thing holding you back?

Anyone who signs up to Twitter as a direct result of this article is guaranteed at least one follower… me. If you join Twitter just tweet me at @DavePee telling me as much and I’ll follow you… though I reserve the right to unfollow or block you at a later date for any reason whatsoever.

Image Credits: Ed Yourdon, Michael Beck, Michael Coghlan, Brett Jordan, Frank am Main, Denise Krebs, Maryland GovPics

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69 Comments - Write a Comment


Muz RC

Thanks for the review dude… twitter for me to find update news minute to minute… thumbs up…


Marek S?owikowski

I have FG account for social and family contacts and Linkedin account for business contacts. Twitter has no added value for me. Every intereseting industry and hobby news I have in FB, LI and newsletters. I’m not living for clicking my mouse. Computer helps me living. I do not want another social account. I want to have only one account, not two or more so I thinking about leaving FB.

Dave Parrack

Twitter is a different beast from Facebook and LinkedIn. I don’t believe they’re truly interchangeable. Having said that, if you’re looking to move away from social networking adding another to the mix may indeed be a bad idea for you.



One reason not to use twitter: I’m busy living my own life, and it’s as interesting as I need or want. (“Celebrities”? …really? who cares.)

Tom Sobieski

Guess you don’t read newspapers either. Your life must be very fulfilling.


“Guess you don’t read newspapers either.”
How did you deduce that?! You would have never gotten a good grade in Logic 101.

“Your life must be very fulfilling.”
Without Twitter, it is.
Anybody whose life is fulfilled by 140 character snippets must have the attention span of a goldfish.

Dave Parrack

Your logic is also flawed. People post links alongside their 140 characters, so you need a lot better attention span than a goldfish to get the most out of Twitter.


My logic is not flawed, but, in this case, my knowledge is. Since I do not waste any of my attention on Twitter, I am not aware that twits post links along with their tweets. (or is it tweets post links along with their twits?)

This is starting to sound like an Abbott & Costello routine.

Tina Sieber

What I wonder is, if you knew so little about Twitter, why did you bother to read this article?

Did you want to learn something about Twitter? And if that was indeed your intention, why are your comments filled with judgement and negativity rather than curiosity?

Are you a troll?


“Are you a troll?”
If by that you mean someone who disagrees with your point of view, then I guess I’m guilty.

“why are your comments filled with judgement and negativity rather than curiosity?”
Is the Comments section a discussion or is it a “rah rah, how wonderful the article is” section? I expressed my opinion of Twitter and, from reading the other posts, it seems others share that point of view.

Aren’t you curious why and how the non-fanboys of Twitter feel about it?

BTW – you are making a mountain out of a molehill. Most of what I wrote was tongue in cheek.

Alberto Lerma


Tina Sieber

That’s totally not what I meant. Disagreeing is fine if you have solid arguments and know what you’re talking about. And even if you don’t, it’s all good if you’re open minded. I do welcome a good discussion anytime!

Dave Parrack

Then you don’t follow celebrities. You only follow things that do interest you, and unless you have the most interesting life imaginable there is always room for more.


Nevzat A

I’ve just learned what TL;DR means :) Thanks for this valuable article.

Dave Parrack

If it has achieved nothing more than that then I’m happy :)

Nevzat A

No, no I didn’t mean that, sorry. The article is well written and valuable. I agree the points (or arguments) for using twitter. I just find it funny that I’ve seen “TL;DR” thing on many articles before, but learned the meaning just now.

Dave Parrack

I must admit I don’t get some of these acronyms the first time I see them… perhaps that’s an article I should be writing ;)


Paul G

For me, the clue in not wanting to use it is the first four letters of the name. I don’t intend to become one.

Dave Parrack

Because using Facebook makes you a face, and using Google makes you a goog. Hmm.

Alberto Lerma

u wot m8


Henk van Setten

I’m sorry Dave, but your promo talk didn’t convince me one single bit.
(1) Interesting People: I meet enough of them. Have interesting friends. In real life, you know. No need for online surrogates.
(2) Breaking News: I don’t want news messages to be “breaking” my concentration on my work. If there’s really important news, I’ll find and read it the same day anyway. In my own time.
(3) Tracking Trends: now why should I want to track the latest trends? No idea. I’m not a marketeer, you know.
(4) Company Contact: the few times a year I need to contact a company with some question or complaint, my phone works fine. Usually a phone conversation gives more room to explain things and reach some kind of mutual agreement or understanding.
(5) Celebrity Access: I really have no need for that whatsoever. I’m not one of those teens still drooling over Justin Bieber…
(6) Creative Outlet: I have a blog that gives me much more room and freedom to express myself in all kinds of ways.
(7) 140 Characters: In my view, this silly restriction only contributes to (and thrives on) the ghastly superficiality of what people actually know nowadays. As a result, gratuitous, volatile impressions can take the place of actual, thorough, well-founded, more nuanced knowledge. I don’t see this quick superficiality as a positive development: on the contrary, on the level of society as a whole this can be near-disastrous.
OK – you can guess my conclusion.


Totally agree.

My only question to the twits out there is, How can you determine in 140 characters, most of them consonants, whether someone is interesting???

Dave Parrack

In the same way we decide whether commenters are trolls or not in just a few words ;)

Franky Baby

You’re an idiot.

Alberto Lerma

Oh god!! the comments are so funny. Please make more articles like this!!

Dave Parrack

Each to their own. But in my opinion you’re missing out on some good stuff that is shared through Twitter.

Tina Sieber


I appreciate that you have a fulfilled life and don’t feel the need to use services like Twitter to enhance your life. I don’t want to argue with that, I just want to explain why I think your reasoning for point 7 is flawed.

People post links to in-depth articles on Twitter. You get to choose whom to follow and what to read, so you curate your own news / entertainment / resource stream. And you can manually create various streams, for example for a specific topic. Personally, I follow intellectuals, including close friends, people I admire, and leaders in their field, and I am gaining a lot of knowledge through the resources they post.

Of course, Twitter isn’t for everyone and you can get news or information through other channels. Some people love Macs others couldn’t care less what computer connects them to the Internet. The point is not what tools you use to access information, but what information you decide to access and how you want to consume it. Twitter is a great tool because it gives you a lot of freedom and flexibility and this is invaluable to me!

On the point whether or not people are becoming more superficial…
Apparently they don’t, at least when it comes to articles posted on websites, i.e. those very articles that people post links to on Twitter. Longer, more in-depth articles are on the rise! Now it would be interesting to study, how superficial Twitter really is. Or in other words, who are the most successful and influential people on Twitter? Celebrities, intellectuals, politicians, or maybe intellectual celebrities engaged in politics?

Henk van Setten

Tina, I’m sorry if I gave you the impression of someone with a “fulfilled life” who doesn’t need to learn or improve himself. I happen to run a blog on depression (the mental condition, not the economy or the weather) and if I were that complacent, I wouldn’t be running such a blog…
I guess you’re right that Twitter can indeed be used as a kind of portal to specific good-quality content elsewhere. In that case maybe it just comes down to what you prefer, either actively searching yourself for interesting and relevant things, or having cues or hints pushed onto your plate by Twitter. Maybe Twitter can lead you to some more unexpected and varied new info sources, but I still think that for myself the first method (actively and in an associating way searching yourself, plus checking in on a selection of good sites and authors) works better when you’re trying to be productive. I think Twitter would be too distracting, too unfocused, if you get what I try to say.
As for the superficiality, of course as I am no Twitter user myself, my view may be skewed, I’ll grant you that too. I often see tweets cited (or commented) in news articles etc. and sometimes I see someone writing about an event that is hot on Twitter, and I must say in 90% of the cases I find it absolutely not interesting and often even shockingly superficial, or worse: badly informed or even false info. But OK, maybe my media give me a distorted view of Twitter because they don’t show “dull” tweets, only the stupid or sensational ones.
As for who are most succesful on Twitter, maybe you remember what I remember, seeing a statistic last year showing that people like Kim Kardashian etc. had a much larger number of followers than people like Obama? If I remember correctly, among the ten with the largest number of followers.eight were people from entertainment or sports (what I, I must confess, associate with “superficial”).
Well, maybe I’m prejudiced. But to be honest, I still think that to me, getting involved with Twitter would not be the best way to spend my time!
—- Offtopic: thanks for marking EPs in your weekly music overview now. Really appreciate that!

Alberto Lerma



MakeUseOf TechGuy


I don’t want breaking news. I really don’t care. Most of the non-breaking news that I watch nightly is totally and utterly irrelevant anyway. Oh, a footballer slept with someone and there’s pictures and now someone is suing? Thanks – that’s important why? Oh, tube drivers are complaining because they still don;t think they’re paid enough? Man, sounds exactly the same as last week. Kim-Jong-wotshisface has said something stupid? ORLY – tell me more. No, no don’t. I dont care. It has no bearing on my life, and only serves to amuse or scare those of lesser potential in life.

And as for interesting people – if they were REALLY interesting, they wouldn’t be using twitter in the first place. This goes double for “celebrities”. You know what you can fill 140 characters with? Nothing intelligent or creative, thats for sure.

Nope, Twitter is a big marketing scam for self pompous buffoons. It has absolutely ZERO real use, but I don’t doubt it will be around a long time. As a new generation of morons gets even more stupid, they will need an outlet, and Twitter will be there for them.


I love the buffons! with 140 characters it’s a quicker than soaps on television

Dave Parrack

James, why not tell us what you really think?!

MakeUseOf TechGuy

Because then I’d be sacked.

Dave Parrack

But you know you want to really. You cannot resist. You will rant and rave about more topics over time until you implode. I’ve booked a front row seat ;)


Scott M

I haven’t any use for twitter other than for messages among my immediate group of friends..I receive my news from daily papers,magazines,and specific internet sites.Most of the noted celebrity twitter users add nothing that is useful to the improvement of my life.


Ahsan Javed

Thats The Reasons Why I Left FB and Joined Twitter

Dave Parrack

Are you pleased with that choice?



Others have expressed their “appreciation” for Twitter much more eloquently than I can so I’ll just wholeheartedly agree with them.

The last person that was interesting in less than 140 characters was Albert Einstein with his E=mc squared.

Sorry, Dave, but somehow following a someone with a tag of DavePee is not exactly too palatable. /grin/


Dave Bakker

Thanks for the review, I have tried twitter several time over the years and have a hard time getting useful information out of it. I will revisit it after reading the above article.

Dave Parrack

Thanks for the considered response. If you’ve tried it and it’s not for you then that’s fair enough. It’s people who hate Twitter without ever actually having tried it that annoy me.


There are certain things that I do not have to try to know they are not for me – necrophilia, self-mutilation, Chinese water torture, etc. Twitter happens to be among those things.

Dave Parrack

Because Twitter is on a par with all of those distasteful things. We get it, Twitter isn’t for you, so why, pray tell, are you commenting on an article all about Twitter? It’s like watching a TV show you hate, or eating a foodstuff you cannot stomach.


Just because I don’t do it does not mean I can’t comment about it.

Alberto Lerma

You’re the funniest guy I’ve ever read!! Please don’t ever leave MUO!!

No but seriously.. You can enjoy reading tweets from your friends (not as funny as yours obviously) now and then through the day and I know you don’t have friends and no one is remotely interested in reading about your life (you know, being the special snowflake of exclusiveness you are) but you can try it.

Also I don’t think that necrophilia is as bad as you make it sound.. Maybe you should try that too. Have an open mind dude!!


“Also I don’t think that necrophilia is as bad as you make it sound.. ”

If you like it, go for it!



This what I try to explain to friends who “Don’t get Twitter”. When they have tried it, they just add a couple of rock bands they can think of and sit and stare at the screen moaning that nothing is happening.
Good work.

Dave Parrack

I wish I’d noted that you need to put something in to Twitter in order to get something out of it!



On a side note – probably not a main reason for using twitter but still- is making money.
by answering tweets and entering competitions and the like I have managed to get hold of free gifts, tickets, and even won £25 cash just for being ‘funny’!
I wouldn’t expect anyone to be as lucky as I have but it goes to show that it CAN be done.


David R

Thanks for a very interesting article. I was on the fence and wondering if I wanted to join the Twitter Universe. Your article convinced me that it will – for me – add nothing of value.

Dave Parrack

Fair enough.


Eric Jay P

maybe they can increase a bit more of the 140 character limit.



Thanks for the review. I do like twitter, but I feel it has becomed infested with bots lately. But it’s still a great source for the last news and keeping up with trends. But mainly I use app.net nowadays for finding interesting people and discussing topics more in the depth. I do have a few invitations for app.net if someone is interested in trying it out.


Here are a few app.net invitations. Each can only be used once. Here you go:

Dave Parrack

Thanks for the list of invites. Hopefully someone will get some use out of them. App.net isn’t free though, which immediately puts me off. I personally don’t mind ads…



Awesome article



Hi Dave. You have sparked my interest more…. But, the main reason I hold back is because I don’t want to be spending a lot of my time on it when there are other things I have to be getting on with. So that worries me.

I’m not that mad about ‘social networking’ from the problems I see, though I can see its good points as well.

I prefer more speacialized sites where I can ‘talk’ like her at MUO and in the WordPress community plus others.

But having said that, I like what you wrote about getting the latest news and meeting new and interesting people with the odd celeb thrown in.

I’m not yet swayed, but it’s more of an open door now :-)

Dave Parrack

It’s good to keep an open mind on these things rather than dismiss them out of hand. Stay off Twitter for now then, but if a time ever arrives when you want to explore another social network you can give it a trial run. If you don’t like it there’s nothing forcing you to remain on there for ever more :)


Reinis Vesers

Since I myself am an experienced debater and public speaker and love to tell my thoughts on subjects to anyone who is conscious enough to listen you’d think that I’d be very much into twitter. But I strongly believe that anything that can be said within 140 symbols probably isn’t worth saying at all and whenever I go to twitter to search for the new giveaway passcode I get assured of it by reading the tweets of writers who’s books and blogs I very much like to read.

Dave Parrack

Have you never seen an inspirational quote that’s resonated with you despite its brevity? I think a lot can be said in 140 characters, plus many people link to external sites where they have written more.



Thanks buddy for the information.


K Cartesius

When someone told me to use Twitter and how great it was, I joined and started to really look for all those great features lurking within the app and its clientele.

Never got any further than “This is just like Skype’s status messages with some primitive messaging added”.

FaceBook isn’t perfect and has a lot of annoyances, but at least you can publish stuff you create using it.


John Wallach

I’m afraid I’m not convinced yet.

Dave Parrack

That’s fair enough. My job is to provide the information, it’s yours to do with it what you want.


Ah San

i have an account but not log in often.



1. if you need this to “surround yourself” with interesting people (that you’ll probably never meet), you might have a severe problem with your social skills. time spent twittling would be better used self-improving

2. breaking news can be seen on literally 100s of websites.

3. trackng trends has a commercial application, no doubt. but for consumers, it’s just a more subtle form of telling you what you should be thinking, leading to groupthink. this erodes independent thought. that’s not a good thing.

4. company contact is good for companies, but what value is there for consumers? the idea that good customer service comes from something that is blurted out to everyone….are you kidding me? good customer service is personal.

5. I’ll admit my bias that the very idea of celebrity access is about as important to me as the holiday bus schedule on alternate Wednesdays in downtown dar es salaam. this seems to be the vast majority of what people want to use this for. people want to be celebs so they follow celebs and emulate celebs. is it even necessary to explain what a cancer on social interaction in the real world this is?

6. there is a reason creativity that garners mass appeal comes from such a tiny sliver of the population at large. it isn’t easy. this medium encourages failure and further disappointment. a better use of creativity would be to find better ways to be happy in the real world, find more interesting people in the real world to surround yourself with, and think more proactively about how companies manipulate you into telling you what is worth thinking about.

7. 140 characters is the fastest way to destroying language, using cliche over meaningful communication, and embracing the glib and empty. the very, very few who can express themselves effectively and concisely are drowned out by those who have no clue.

so obviously I’m not a fan and there are many more things than one that is “holding me back”

the commercial applications are apparent and the breaking news makes sense (although it is superfluous). otoh, the personal use by non-public people who do not put out product for consumption (columnists, comedians, musicians, etc) makes zero sense to me. my best guess is people are desperate for validation and attention and this is the perfect way to satisfy those banal and destructive tendencies.

social media has made is much, much less socially adept. it is a cancer on society.



I’ve tried Twitter ::bleah:: every so often I go back to test the waters. I’ve yet to find anything compelling about Twitter. ::shrug:: to each their own.


Rich Lemert

I came to this post because I am seriously wondering if I am missing something by not being on twitter (or facebook, or …). I would love for someone to convince me that the ‘service’ has any value.

Alas – this blog does not accomplish that goal.

Looking at it from a “tweeter’s” perspective – why would I be so presumptuous as to think that anyone would be interested in what I have to say that isn’t already aware of it or can’t get it through more effective channels?

Looking from a recipient’s perspective – the only two “reasons” you give for being on twitter that make sense are the ‘breaking news’ and the ‘company contact’ items, neither of which I find at all compelling. In both cases there are other avenues available that, in my opinion, do a better job of conveying actual information. Take ‘breaking news’, for example. Hearing about riots in Cairo as it happens is not going to change my life in the slightest, and I really appreciate having some simple things like “fact checking” and “analysis” involved in my news.

The other thing that disturbs me – that I’ve never seen adequately addressed – is what I expect to be a low signal-to-noise ratio. My wife tried to follow her employer’s feed for awhile, but soon gave up on it because there were so many tweets to wade through, most of which had zero informational value.

I will continue to check twitter out, but I don’t hold much hope that I’ll ever be a convert.



Being that I’m in marketing and a so-called “digital native,” I tried to jump on the Twitter train. Honestly, I found it overwhelming (serious FOMO) and, at the same time, laborious and non-gratifying. Instead of simplifying my life and pushing me useful info, I found myself wasting time reading mountains of interesting articles that, let’s face it, I didn’t need to read to have a fulfilling, well-rounded life. At the same time, I felt this pressure to say “clever things,” yet I wasn’t sure who I was writing to (if anyone at all!), because my followers were a mix of personal friends (who I’m already connected to on Facebook) and follow-backs from people I’ve followed, which may have some professional association with me. In the end, Twitter just stressed me out and wasted my time. I’m not knocking anyone who uses Twitter, but for me, it was just noise.

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