Twitter has grown exponentially since its creation, with the microblogging service now hosting roughly 8 million unique users - up from 1 million in 2008. Given such popularity, it's almost inevitable that celebrities and luminaries would utilize it as a way of solidifying their brand and expanding their base of support.
Twitter has grown to millions of users since it launched in 2006, with some
posting 140-character microbloggings, or "tweets," several times per
day. Twitter itself is even becoming more incorporated into the enterprise,
adding the site to its Service Cloud solution
sponsoring a site, ExecTweets,
as part of its "It's Everybody's
In March 2009, Twitter also added a search feature to its users' main page
that some pundits felt would put the microblogging site into a more directly
competitive alignment with Facebook and Google
By allowing users to see, via a "Trends" menu, which topics are
currently generating the most online traffic, Twitter
became a more robust tool for the enterprise and small businesses
to monitor the buzz about particular products within the marketplace.
Given its increased search capability, it's little wonder that rumors
started about Google's possible interest in acquiring Twitter. The blog
TechCrunch reported in early April 2009 that the two companies were indeed in
talks, and pundits suggested that such a purchase would possibly put Google
in a much stronger position
in its competition against Microsoft
For his part, Twitter
co-founder Biz Stone volunteered in a blog posting
that his company was in
"discussions" with other entities "on a variety of
subjects" but that the current focus of Twitter was on building "a
profitable, independent company and we're just getting started."
As a company, Twitter has been expanding rapidly; it now has 30 employees in
San Francisco and reportedly seeks
With such immense popularity, it's no surprise that luminaries ranging from
Lance Armstrong to Al Gore would see Twitter as an increasingly important part
of extending their personal brand to the world at large. Plus, famous Twitter users
generally don't need to worry about their "tweets" getting them fired
from their job, unlike
certain IT employees.
There has been controversy, though, about whether many celebrities on
Twitter are actually posting the "tweets" themselves or are leaving
that part to assistants. Further issues have erupted with people setting up
fake accounts under a celebrity name and then proceeding to microblog as, for
example, "Christopher Walken."