Sunday night’s news of the death of Osama bin Laden proved that people have established Twitter as a source for news – and sometimes their first source for news. But is the microblogging service influential enough for agencies to establish positions to oversee Twitter accounts?
This week’s numbers show that Twitter has changed how we get and share information. A poll by Mashable found that 31 percent found out about bin Laden’s death through Twitter and 20 percent through Facebook. At the peak of the news, Twitter was reporting more than 5,100 tweets per second, although still short of the record volume of tweets during the Japanese tsunami and earthquake.
Most agencies have Twitter accounts to disseminate information to the public. Even the Department of Homeland Security is considering issuing terror alerts via social media.
The importance of Twitter has risen high enough in the U.K. to lead to the appointment of what the media there is dubbing a “Twitter czar.”