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Twitter, a social media platform developed in 2006 and has now reached over 300m ‘active’ users with may be up to 1 billion accounts. At this digital age, with over 3billion people said to be users of the Internet (almost half of the entire world). Nigeria represent about 2.5% of that figure making it the most Internet-using nation in Africa. According to NCC Internet users stood at nothing less than 88m, that’s about 40% of our 180m population.
Twitter users are just half of Facebook users in the world (with the latter boosting of over 1 billion account since 2012, and mostly active accounts) but in Nigeria the case is different as the ratio is even lower. I don’t think 1% of our Internet users are on twitter. I don’t know of any official statistics of Nigerians on twitter, but I know for sure Nigeria isn’t among the Top 20 countries on twitter despite being the 8th country with Internet users all over the world. I roughly assumed the figure to be around 500,000. Not more than half a million. Unlike the US with about 25million users.
So, here are 10 reasons why you can’t continue to miss 350 million tweets everyday;
- First class source of Information:
Primary sources are the original and unfiltered information. Twitter is a first class information source. If you are on twitter and your friends aren’t, they’ll always be surprised where on earth you get your news from, especially before it breaks all over. There were times that people argue or at least give doubt, over some issues only to realise their ignorance after several hours or even days. Today newspapers get their source from twitter. When @realmadrid official twitter account unfollow @ikercasillas, Marca’s next edition could feature Bye bye Saint Iker. When @sergioramos follow @manutd account, it’s a done deal. That’s how it’s being done today.
- Pool of news:
On 25th June 2009 twitter received over 100,000 tweets per hour on the death of Micheal Jackson alone. Not only that twitter is a first class source of information it’s also a news pool. You’ll know that when you follow a thousand of tweeps. Tweets from all topics, aspects. Since you are interacting with people all over the globe. Anyway, beware of false information and rumours.
- Twitter is a school:
Twitter is like a classroom. Join and enrol in any class of your choice, be it sports, history, politics, international relations, economics, health, relationship, and IT. On twitter people know almost everything. You may come across online quizzes, debates on feminism, marriage, soccer etc On religion; #DeenNight, #SahabahNights. et al. Some people say ‘it’s only twitter’ but I have learnt and still learning a lot from it. Just follow the right people.
- Twitter is drama:
Twitter is drama; twitter is fun. If you’re not on twitter, bro, you have missed almost 9 years of drama. The twitter beefs; Drake, Meek Mill, Eminem, Nicki Minaj, Amber Rose. The #TwitFight, #WailingWailers. #ArewaTwitter; DM issues, some…drama. The red crayons!
- Twitter, an analyser!
You are not on twitter? You never heard of the #RenoPolls with the fear of God. #AITPolls. Twitter is nowadays used for surveys,taking polls on public opinion, supporters approval rating. You also understand people’s take on issues and their reactions. I remember Comr. @Shehusani’s camels, it generated a lot. May be the reason his tweets are protected now.
- Reach out to a lot of people.
Reach out to a million of people online with just a single tweet. And it gets Retweeted. Remember @barackobama massive social campaign in 2008? Okay. If you are a celebrity, with twitter you can simply reach your millions of followers out over there and even give out recharge cards or follow back to random followers. Not bad!
- Twitter for help!!!
Twitter is for emergency. You must have read how twitter saved @elrufai in 2010 from DSS in his Accidental public servant. Once a lady here raised an alarm; attacked by robbers in her house. In no time some brave men jumped out of twitter to the house. You see? Since you don’t know Nigeria’s emergency number, is it 911 or 112? Whatever just mention one of the overloads on twitter. Boko haram attack, robbery.. God save us.
- Twitter # for Movement:
One of the most trending global issues in social media and off it, is the #BringBackOurGirls. One of the orchestrators narrated how #BBOG came up, it was by using a simple # (hash tag) on twitter. So not only emergency, twitter can be used for campaign, and other movements. #NISStampede, #OccupyNaija, #GEJWinsIT, #OpenNASS..
- Rumours on twitter?
Because of the heavy flow and traffic of news on twitter there used to be a lot of lies, false information and update. What you need to do is simple. Ask ‘what’s your source?’ I saw one guy when asked about his source during the much heated Nigeria’s presidential campaign mentioned one of the overloads on Twitter Nigeria as his own source. Now that we have a lot of BLOGGERS one should be careful about what he call news, and who he follows and what he retweets on twitter. And because it’s like a school, you can’t tell lies and go free when we have all subject teachers here. One last thing is that you should know that there are fake and parody accounts.
- Big Uncles.. And the aunts
Big family men have polluted the Facebook atmosphere, some believe. There is a limit to what they post as even their DP on BBM or whatsApp. There are some things you can’t post on Facebook, why not tweet them? Those big aunts and uncles aren’t here, may be, Yet. Twitter atmosphere haven’t been polluted by those big men and mamas who have eyes on what you do on SM. You can tweet whatever you wish!! You are safe. Just beware of screen grabbers. They are hyper-fast. Those pix. and DMs, means no break up forever, in some cases. Take heed! Toh!!!
Muhammad Malumfashi is on twitter @Ya_waliyyi