Why do we use Twitter?

Out of curiosity, I signed up for Twitter a few months ago.  I had heard about it about a year before, had a peek at the website and didn’t take it any further.  Curiosity got me to check it out in the end.

Twitter’s creators envisaged it as somewhere that families or business associates could send quick updates to let everyone know what they were up to and so improve our knowledge of the minutiae of each others lives.

Well – it hasn’t quite work out like that, has it?

Celebrities have hijacked it to control their own PR, news providers use it as a newsfeed, bloggers use it to find new readers and people stuck up mountains have used to get themselves rescued.  Not bad for a 140 character message format.

But 140 characters in a public space has it’s limits – how many people would be comfortable broadcasting a message to their mum (and the world) that they’ve been to the doctor’s about an embarrassing complaint – I suspect very few indeed.

Will celebrities manage to keep their interest in using Twitter, or will they end up delegating this to their PA’s?  Jonathan Ross seems a little quieter now he’s back on air.

The Guardian ran a TwiTrip where a journalist went to Paris and spent his time there on the advice of fellow Twitterers – this works if you’ve got plenty of followers, but for those of us who don’t have a national newspaper as a platform may find that a similar experiment would yield little or no results.

I’ll watch with interest where Twitter moves next, or maybe we’ll all just move on to the next big thing.