Why We Tweet

By: Jack & Suzy Welch

You know you’re doing something strange and new—or at least new—when every time you’re at a social gathering, the activity comes up and the barbs come out. “Why do you waste your time with such nonsense?” people ask. And so it is with Twitter, the social-networking thingamajig that we both recently adopted with a degree of enthusiasm that surprises our friends and family and, well, even us.
But the fact is, over the past few months, we’ve come to love Twitter. We’re not saying it’s going to transform humanity—as some of its proponents will tell you—but we certainly get its incipient power. Indeed, if Twitter continues to expand at its current rate, it may well become a high-value way for companies to help brand themselves and microtarget consumer groups, as well as another tool for managers to interact with their people, and vice versa.
But Twitter’s business potential doesn’t explain why we tap away in 140-character bursts every so often. O.K., like three or four times a day.