The social network site ‘Twitter’ is a fantastic way of uploading photos and sharing thoughts on any topic you wish. You can find groups of interest to ‘follow’, and connect with complete strangers on subjects close to your heart. Boyd and Ellison include in their definition of ‘social network sites’, the premise that they allow individuals to “construct a public or semi-public profile within a bounded system” (2007, p. 211).
With these profiles including private and sometimes sensitive information, it is important that individuals and businesses can safeguard themselves from cyber criminals (Choo, 2011). As recognised by Saunders and Zucker (2010), the challenge in the advent of the information age is protection against identity fraud. In moderating such risk, Twitter’s platform has security settings that allow the individual to control passwords, prompt codes to be implemented for sign in purposes, as well as to control who and in what capacity the content can be accessed. As can be viewed in the screen shot below, Twitter also gives members avenues if they think their account has been breached.
Source: Twitter (2016)
Social network sites such as LinkedIn make connections after an invitation has been accepted, whereas Twitter makes unilateral connections having both “people a user has linked to, and people who have linked to the user (Boyd and Ellison, 2007, p. 35), allowing for more content creation. On top of this, content by those you ‘follow’ is arranged in order of time and date that it was posted. With many updates happening every second it would seem, content literally becomes yesterday’s news. For social media managers needing to justify the marketing dollars, it is important that content can be utilised in the most effective way. By using Twitter in its conventional sense, information may get lost in the waves of new information without a proper plan in place. The answer is Content Management. Twitter tools such as ‘Bitly’ (https://bitly.com), and ‘Buffer’ (https://buffer.com/) were developed to; schedule, publish and analyse all of your posts in one place (Hines, 2011). The idea is that the marketer and can view the customer experience in a snap shot and can navigate their message in line with the company’s goals.
With safety protocols and tools to manage content in the consumer’ arsenal, the Twitter experience can bring us all a little closer in a way that matters to us, the ‘Users’, minimising risk.
Boyd, D & Ellison, N 2007, ‘Social network sites: definition, history, and scholarship’, Journal of Computer Mediated Communication, vol. 13, no. 1, pp 210-230.
Choo, K 2011, ‘The cyber threat landscape: challenges and future research directions’, Computers & Security, vol. 30, no. 8, pp. 719-731.
Hines, K 2011, ‘10 Twitter Tools Used by Social Media Experts’, 29 August 2011, viewed 18 July 2016, https://blog.kissmetrics.com/10-twitter-tools/.
Saunders, K & Zucker, B 2010, ‘Counteracting identity fraud in the information age: the identity theft and assumption deterrence act’, International Review of Law, Computers & Technology, vol. 13, no. 2, pp. 183- 192.
Twitter (2016), viewed 22 July 2016, https://about.twitter.com/company/security.