Twitter goes mainstream with celebrities getting on board
Twitter, the micro-blogging service, is about to go mainstream in the UK according to industry experts, which is thought to be fuelled by the take up of celebrities 'tweeting'.
Twitter receives the largest amount of its traffic from the USA, but its penetration is greater in the UK market," said Robin Goad, a research director at Hitwise.
"Twitter was one of the fastest growing websites in the UK last year, and it shows no signs of slowing down. If anything, the service is even more popular than our numbers imply, as we are only measuring traffic to the main Twitter website.
"If the people accessing their Twitter accounts via mobile phones and third party applications (such as Twitterrific, Twitterfeed and Tweetdeck) were included, the numbers would be even higher. Many people seem to find Twitter addictive: the average amount of time that people spend on Twitter.com has more than trebled from less than 10 minutes a year ago to half an hour now."
Apart from the strong interest in Barrack Obama, who has over 140,000 followers, UK celebrities are fuelling the growth of Twitter in the UK.
British chatshow host and radio presenter Jonathan Ross (@wossy) has developed a reputation for unearthing fake celebritity accounts (he texts the suspected fake celeb to verify and reports by Twitter). Thus far he has outed a fake Thom Yorke, Jimmy Carr and Jeremy Clarkeson.
He is expected to talk about Twitter on his BBC chatshow tonight, updating fans about his interview with Tom Cruise:
"Hello. That was a fun day and nice to be back. All the guests were so lovely, and funny. Twitter discussed - Tom might sign up!"
Meanwhile, writer and broadcaster, Stephen Fry this week ran a competition this week to celebrate reaching 50,000 followers.
"L=50 in Roman. The best tweet containing exactly 50 Ls will win. All tweets to contain the tag #L and none to exceed 140 character limit SF"
Blogger and PR consultant Phil Szomszor warns companies to be careful how they used the service: "From a public relations point of view, that the best business Twitter users are those that properly engage - that means following as well as being followed. It’s not one way traffic.
"Also, it’s better when businesses use Twitter in some sort of imaginative way - i.e. not just sending press release links - but either using it for customer services or providing advice adds value rather than just becomes spam."