The ins and Outs of Twitter

So, I have to be honest when I say I don't know if I fully understand Twitter even though I use it every day. I do know that I have a better handle on it than I used to. Something about tweeting every day makes you a little more comfortable with it all. In searching the internet for fun topics, I came across a lovely little article on SmartMoney.com (a subsection of the WSJ) which talked about 10 things that Twitter will not tell you. To be honest, some of it is quite eye opening. Here's a few of the 10 that stuck out to me.

Your photos can be tracked

This slightly scares me, and I will more than likely change the settings on my phone. Depending on what your settings are, the pictures you upload through Twit Pic, Instagram, etc. often times have embedded GPS data that allows sites to see where you are. If you upload through Twitter, generally the strip the GPS data from your photos, but third party sites connected to Twitter do not. In fact, a website called I Can Stalk U shows just how easy it is to find people by using their photos. Now, the site was created to raise awareness about changing the settings on your phone and not for stalking purposes, but it is still an eye opener when you look at all of the pictures they capture with passing time. If you use a third party app to post your pictures, double check and make sure you aren't posting lots of information along with it. Check out how to change it here.

Hash Tags can be used for advertising purposes

I found this one to quite interesting. Those of us who are on Twitter (by the way..have you followed me yet?) have probably used a hash tag before. What I did not know is that certain companies are able to buy advertising spots when people click on a hash tag. For instance, in the article it talks about the #RoyalWedding when William and Kate got married. Whenever someone clicked on the hash tag, they were also directed towards ads about ice cream bars. Who knows how this kind of advertising will be used in the upcoming election, but I can imagine it will be in some way or another.

Twitter can help journalists

Twitter can definitely help journalists in finding stories to write about. If you look in different hash tags, especially those that are popular, journalists are able to find out the general mood of people towards certain things happening around the country and world. They can get a fairly decent assessment of how people are responding from most any event whether it's Dancing with the Stars or what's happening in the news. Often times, big news stories will hit Twitter long before they are broadcast online and on TV. Sometimes I wonder about how 9/11 would have been if Twitter was around. Nowadays, if something big happens, someone has tweeted it.

For a list of all 10 things, click here. It's definitely worth reading if you are a fellow Tweeter. You may just learn something new!

Are you an active Twitter user?

Seth P.