A Look at Twitter’s Growing Influence in the Social Media Space

  • Twitter’s influence in social media space is growing.
  • Over 270 heads of state use Twitter as a communication medium.
  • The Twitter app has over 500 million downloads.

Twitter is among the most popular social media platforms in the world today. It was founded by Jack Dorsey, the current CEO, Noah Glass, Biz Stone, and Evan Williams in 2006. William and Dorsey are among its top shareholders. The former owns about 20 million shares, and the latter approximately 16.6 million shares.

Twitter is a microblogging and social networking service on which users post and interact with messages known as “tweets.” Tweets were originally restricted to 140 characters, but on November 7, 2017, this limit was doubled to 280 for all languages except Chinese, Japanese, and Korean.

The first tweet, “just setting up my twttr,” was published by Dorsey on March 2006. What started as a status reporting service in the mid-2000s has now evolved into a leading social media network. More than 300 million people worldwide use Twitter each month. On average, about 40 percent of its users have significant interest in political topics. Many are better educated and have a higher income than the average population. Moreover, over 270 heads of state use Twitter as a communication medium.

Top Influencers on Twitter

Among the most influential, and certainly the most powerful users on Twitter, is U.S. President Donald Trump. He currently has 71.8 million followers. Former President Barack Obama tops the list of the most followed individuals, with over 112 million followers. That probably annoys Trump more than Obama’s winning streak as the most admired man in America for the last twelve years.

With over 40,000 tweets since his account was founded, Trump tweets more frequently than Nicki Minaj, who is hyperactive on Twitter. Also among its most popular users is pop icon Katy Perry. She has over 108 million followers. Footballer Cristiano Ronaldo is also a top influencer, with 82 million fans. Pope Francis has approximately 18 million Twitter followers.

U.S. President Donald Trump was the most-followed world leader on Twitter, with 66 million followers to his “RealDonaldTrump” account in 2019. The official “POTUS” account added 27 million, and “WhiteHouse” another 19 million, per Twiplomacy.

Without a doubt, Twitter is influencing world affairs today. It has changed the rules of journalism and encouraged, perhaps even enabled, major political upheavals, such as the Arab Spring. Like other social media platforms, it has networked the world more strongly.

Twitter Has Become a More Efficient Platform

The most recent relevant changes on Twitter have happened in the background. The platform now has a team of software developers and data scientists with a focus on machine-learning. Dubbed Cortex, the team has been gradually strengthened through targeted acquisitions, such as that of Magic Pony Technologies in 2016.

Today, machine learning is used on the website to identify fake news, offensive, and racial comments, and bots.  The upgraded algorithm also recommends more relevant posts to users. This has made the company more efficient. Jack Dorsey has, on numerous occasions, emphasized that Twitter’s primary mission is to promote healthy public debate.

The company currently has no other ventures. Its main focus in recent years has been news, live events, and the conversations surrounding these elements. The change has made it more attractive to advertisers. As a result, Twitter is no longer categorized as a social networking app on Google Play but as a News application. It is currently among the most downloaded apps, with over 500 million downloads.

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Samuel Gush

Samuel Gush is a Technology, Entertainment, and Political News writer at Communal News.

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