It’s the tool that has changed the way a generation communicates. And love it or loathe it, Twitter is here to stay.
This week, the Express & Star’s official account, @ExpressandStar is celebrating adding its 20,000th follower.
While still some way behind the likes of Justin Bieber, who has more than 36 million followers, our social media presence is going from strength to strength. When we joined twitter on November 4, 2008, no one could have guessed how much of a social media phenomenon it would become.
Chris Leggett was internet editor at the paper at the time. He said: “In the early days, the Express & Star joined Twitter to send out links to eye-catching stories. We saw an opportunity for building an audience on there. Early adopters of Twitter could see what we’re trying to do and we built up some very respectable numbers on a platform that nobody could have expected to become such a staple of daily life.”
Now we have a full-time social media editor dedicated to seeking out stories that more traditional ways of news gathering might have missed. More than ever, we are using Twitter to bring you breaking news. We were the first to break the news on Twitter that murder suspect John Anslow had been found in Cyprus last week.
Breaking news: Black Country murder suspect John Anslow has been arrested. Full story to follow.— Express & Star (@ExpressandStar) March 16, 2013
We brought followers the very latest information on the murder of schoolgirl Christina Edkins.
More recently, our reporters spent 24 hours at New Cross Hospital’s A&E department, bringing live updates on the challenges faced by medics on a daily basis.
60 in A&E and 1 bloke won't leave a cubicle because he said he's ill. As he says this 14 patients are waiting in a corridor #NewCross24— Wolverhampton News (@EandS_Wton) March 15, 2013
Sports fans are using Twitter to engage with our top team of football writers on a daily basis. Our Wolves writer Tim Nash (@TimNash1) now has more than 8,000 followers and tweets extensively during games.
#Wolves announce a 34 pc drop in Early Bird season ticket sales. 8,063 have renewed so far, compared to 12,215 renewals by end of last March— Tim Nash (@TimNash1) March 20, 2013
Tim was first on Twitter with the news of Dean Saunders’ appointment, on the Sunday before his official unveiling.
Penn web developer Stuart Maynard-Keene, (@stuup) was one of our very first followers. The 37-year-old married father-of-two said: “As a web developer I joined Twitter back in November 2006.
“I’m normally only interested in the Wolves updates from you guys.
“I have however found the New Cross updates over the weekend very interesting.”
With more than 500 million users, and 150,000 more joining every day, there is no doubt that Twitter is now the modern face of breaking news.