Twitter is increasingly being described as a personal news-wire—shared world events like this morning’s earthquake near Los Angeles support the definition. This chart illustrates the beginning of this morning’s earthquake followed seconds later by the first Twitter update from Los Angeles. About four minutes later, official news began to emerge about the quake. By then, “Earthquake” was trending on Twitter Search with thousands of updates and more on the way.
Many news agencies get their feed from a news wire service such as the Associated Press. “Strong quake shakes Southern California” was pushed out by AP about 9 minutes after people began Twittering primary accounts from their homes, businesses, doctor’s appointments, or wherever they were when the quake struck. Whether it’s updates from best friends, internet pals, companies, brands, or breaking world events, the real-time aspect of sending and receiving Twitter updates continues to motivate our work.