Twitter first with the news during Mumbai attacks

If you’ve been thinking social networking sites are just a toy, then think again. During the recent Mumbai terrorist attacks, it has been revealed major news organisations were relying on Twitter messages for the basis of their broadcasts.

Twitter is a social networking tool that lets users update what he or she is doing in messages limited to 140 characters are less. While the service first started out as a status update tool, users now often spread information about events in real time.

Users near the attacks updated their Twitter accounts via mobile phones, which then could be followed by web browsers. Due to the scale of the attacks, news organisations could not broadcast from the locations for several hours – Twitter users updated what was happening within seconds.

Dozens of users were updating details of the attacks, including which areas to avoid, which hospitals required more blood and what the attackers were doing – second by second.

The event is just another example of Twitter in action – during last year’s California bush fires, Twitter users updated safety information faster than official emergency services.

Keep on eye on SmartCompany next week to learn how to use Twitter for your business.

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