The site was due for maintenance during the Iranian elections, but the maintenance was postponed. It seems that the US Department of State may have had a hand in this. They have asked Twitter to delay the maintenance, in order to allow the Iranian people to communicate during this difficult period. This goes to show that Twitter, as well as all other social media, can play an important role in society. (Facebook hast just launched a Persian version by the way, also to facilitate communication for Iranians.)
The second buzzworthy news is in no way related to politics. It mainly is of interest to automobile enthusiasts or to people interested in purchasing a car. Volkswagen has launched an interactive banner that allows for you to find out what car is best suited for you. All you need to do is enter you Twitter name into the banner; it will analyze your information and suggest which VW model you should buy.
Given the immense popularity of Twitter, it is only natural that advertisers are trying to use it to reach their target. Recently, we have seen the likes of advergames, banners incorporating a brand’s tweets, and even Twitter Brand Sponsorship (a type of social advertising).
However, we can still ask ourselves if Twitter is necessarily always the right choice for a brand’s communication. Twitter has seen its number of users skyrocket in a very short amount of time, but there are still a huge number of people that have never heard of Twitter and would not understand this VW advertisement at all. By exclusively using Twitter for this ad, VW is voluntarily excluding a huge part of their target audience (that is unless they have other advertisements planned in the same campaign that do not rely on knowledge of Twitter). On the flip side, those that know Twitter will appreciate the creativity and interactivity of the ad.
In general, Twitter can be a very useful tool for companies, especially if they respect Twitter etiquette. Also, the recent State Department intervention proves that Twitter is becoming more and more socially important. It goes without saying that we’ll be hearing a lot about Twitter in the coming months...