by Michael O'Neill
November 15th, 2012

Twitter is going to be big. I know, I know…Twitter is already big.

Hard to overlook the obvious:

- Twitter is the fastest growing social network in 2012

- More than 500 million worldwide users (about 150 million in the US)

- 73% of the Fortune 500 have a Twitter accounts

- More than 500 million tweets per day

Yet, I don’t think Twitter has arrived. But it’s coming close. I recently visited the Twitter headquarters in San Francisco with a group of my fellow digital and social media leaders.

I left impressed. Really impressed.

Here’s why:

- Unlike other social networks that seem to wing it, Twitter has an organised vision. They understand their platform at its essence and build on its strengths while at the same time shoring up the network’s weakness. They may drink the Kool-Aid at Twitter, but it’s more diluted with reality than you will find at many other hot Silicon Valley/West Coast companies.

- Twitter’s platform is flexible and versatile. I like the direction they are moving in with the tweet being the headline.  The tweet can stand alone or it can be expanded. You will be able to fully embed articles, blog posts, applications, and videos (even live broadcasts) right into a tweet. The tweet is like a telegram that can open up into a broadcast studio. This means Twitter can remain an instant news and information stream or it can be a place to park and explore.

- Twitter is open. Every tweet is a web page that can be created, catalogued, searched, and found.  It’s part of the internet. Unlike so many other social networks, it isn’t a sub-domain hidden behind firewalls.

- The closer you look at Twitter, the more amazing it is. It’s where news breaks: from Steve Jobs’ death to the killing of Osama bin Laden. You can experience actual correspondence from the president of the US to the Catholic pope. You can find space photographs from Mars or inside information on professional sports from the athletes who play them. You can read tweets that make you bust out laughing to others that strike a deep emotional chord. Twitter is the world unfolding in front of you.

- Twitter is fun – addictive fun.

What’s your Twitter story? Do you love it? Hate it? What does Twitter mean to you?

George F. Snell III is senior vice-president, digital & social communications, at Weber Shandwick Boston. This article first appeared on his blog High Talk

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