By Connor Hughes and Alex Lombardo –
Facebook better watch its back – because Twitter is on the rise.
For better or for worse, this new-age micro-blogging site has piqued the interest of today’s teenagers, who are now dropping Facebook, and beginning to tweet their heads off.
Twitter, created and launched in early 2006, is a social networking site that allows the site’s members to compose text-based posts up to 140 characters long called “tweets.”
Users have the ability to “follow” each other, which adds the followed users’ tweets to the followers’ Time Line.
You can even follow your favorite athletes, for example: Desean Jackson (@DeseanJackson10) or LeBron James (@KingJames).
“It’s an easy way to follow celebrities,” said Penn Manor junior Lindsay Hutchinson.
Any user can follow their favorite celeb, such as: Kim Kardashian (@KimKardashian) or Justin Bieber (@JustinBieber).
Some people use Twitter almost as a digital diary, displaying their thoughts and actions for all of Twitter to see.
“Twitter is a great way to just say what is on your mind,” said avid Penn Manor tweeter Reagan Forrey(@_Ischa).
“So full #Beanies #101flavors,” is a recent tweet by Forrey. This tweet refers to a restaurant he was at and their all you can eat wing special.
The # symbol that Forrey used, called a hashtag, is used to mark keywords or topics in a Tweet. It was created by Twitter creators as a way to categorize messages.
People use the hashtag symbol before relevant keywords in their Tweet to categorize their Tweets so they show up easier in Twitter Search.
Twitter Search can be a way to look up anything extremely recent. If you see a shocking event on live television, you can immediately type it in on Twitter Search and almost guarantee someone around the world has already tweeted about it and hashtagged the keywords.
Clicking on a hashtagged word in any tweet shows you all other Tweets in that category. Hashtags can occur anywhere in the tweet. Hashtagged words that become very popular are often known as “trending topics.”
A trending topic is a topic that shows immediate popularity, not something that has grown popular over time.
Twitter is short, sweet, and to the point.
Also, it is under the radar to a lot of parents.
Teens today are moving toward Twitter, mostly because Facebook is too popular, or too many people are on it, including parents.
Most teens are now friends with their parents on Facebook.
In an interview with Huffington Post a teen had this to say, “I love Twitter, it’s the only thing I have to myself … cause my parents don’t have one.”
One Penn Manor teacher is now using Twitter to connect on an educational level, and leaving Facebook for his less serious encounters.
“I just recently got on Facebook, and Facebook is good, and I like Facebook to maintain my personal friendships,” said Penn Manor High School teacher and professional tweeter Gregg McGough. “But, Twitter is definitely more professional.”
Youths may have given Twitter its uprising, but even a 30-some-year-old adult with three kids can still use Twitter effectively.
“I’m actually a professional (Tweeter). I am a social media person, paid to fly to different conferences around the country,” said McGough.
McGough described an enlarged screen with a rolling twitter feed during these conferences.
“As people were attending different sessions, people were tweeting what they were hearing, and as a result, I could attend every session without having to physically be there,” added McGough.
McGough is using it in professional situations, but some teens are using it in drastic situations.
In the Camden, Ohio school shooting on Febuary 27th, a student brought a gun into school. It shouldn’t have been a surprise: because he tweeted about it.
According to Liberatemedia.com, the number of Twitter users increases by 300,000 each day. And according to Tweetsmarter.com, 11 new accounts are created each second.
During the last minutes of Super Bowl XLVI, one of the busiest moments on Twitter, tweets about the game were pouring through the network at a blazing rate of 10,245 times a second.
Twitter is projected to make $259 million in advertising in 2012 and $540 million by 2014.
Twitter’s making money, and Twitter’s gaining fans. So, something has to give, right?
With the recent uprise of Twitter, Facebook is now losing popularity among teens, especially at Penn Manor.
“It’s way better than Facebook,” said senior Demi Greenwalt.