According to a report on Twopcharts.com Twitter will hit 500 million registered users by this Wednesday. There is a certain level of skepticism about the legitimacy of this number and the site itself admits that its estimates are “based on limited information and interpretations that may or may not be accurate”. Nonetheless the Twitter online following is nothing short of impressive with Twitter admitting that they have more than 100 million active users. This is the important statistic as active users are what matters, they are engaging with the service and are playing a part in the online community.
Skepticism aside of the actual number, with a user base which toys with numbers in the 100-500 million range, it pays immense dividends to be recognised online. Though there are cases, most notably Youtube, where you just need a “funny talent” to accrue close to 30 million views, via Twitter, developing a following and growing the amount of followers requires time, effort and a certain amount of luck. Not to say this isn’t also applicable to Youtube. However what needs to be sprinkled over these elements is a spark of creativity and a unique proposition which connects and stirs the imagination of the Twitter user. A testament to these elements coming together is in the user Sebuyama where on a challenge by the President of Japanese firm Omocoro he was to have one of this tweets be retweeted by at least 1,000 people. A series of experimental tweets lead to a viral winner, Sebuyama pledging to attach a clothes peg to his body for every retweet he received.
The originality of the idea attracted interest in Japan and even from across the globe. Not to say a successful viral Twitter campaign has to involve self inflicted pain and satisfying the sadistic pleasures of thousands of followers. But it does beg the question, how far does one have to go to go viral?
I wouldn’t attach 1000+ clothes pegs to myself. Unless I knew everyone was watching.