Twitter going mainstream

Mainstream among young adults, mostly, according to the Pew Internet & American Life Project (teens off the study's radar, but they microblog in other ways). Twitter, the most popular service for microblogging or status updating, and other such "have been avidly embraced by young adults," Pew says – nearly a fifth (19%) of US 18-to-24-year-olds and a full 20% of 25-to-34-year-olds now use such services to send "short updates about themselves, their lives, their whereabouts … moods," personal, professional, national, and international news. Citizen journalism is a key component of microblogging online. But what seems to be the No. 1 attraction is that Twitter is "an inconspicuous way of staying in touch with the passions, obsessions of your friends, colleagues, and experts," as described by author and professor Howard Rheingold in this "Why does microblogging matter" slide show. Pew adds that Twitter use is "highly intertwined" with blogging and social networking, and its users are a very mobile bunch, accessing the social Net a lot from mobile wireless devices. And "mobile" is the operative word for teens, for whom texting = microblogging. Meanwhile, as for mobile social networking, the number of people who access MySpace by phone has quadrupled in the past year to 20 million, the service's CEO Chris de Wolfe said in a keynote at Europe's mobile industry trade show last week, InformationWeek reports. [See also "A (digital) return to village life?"]

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