Twitter is one of the fastest growing marketplaces on the Internet. The reason why so many people like Twitter is because it is actually the perfect communication tool for people who don't understand and don't want to learn about Internet technology and the technological geek-speak that goes along with it.
A few years back, I asked someone for his dad's email address. The son replied telling me that you just email his name. The son was clueless that there was an actual email address behind the shortcut for his dad's name. He did not understand email, and he did not care that he did not understand it. He was able to use it in a manner that was easy for him, and that is all that really mattered.
What makes Twitter so popular to the masses is that one does not have to be tech-savvy to use the service. The new user simply needs to locate the profile of the person he or she wants to follow, and then the user simply clicks "Follow". From that day forward, anytime the person "Followed" posts (tweets) new information to his or her micro-blog, Followers will be notified about the message in the Twitter Timeline.
The only thing that is really difficult about Twitter is that new people seldom understand that they must "Follow" someone, before they start to receive messages from others. But once someone has chosen to follow a few people, they get the idea behind Twitter very quickly.
With its' system of 140 character micro-posts (referred to as "tweets"), users are able to communicate information to other users. Sometimes the tweeted info is a random comment, but often the tweets mean something to somebody.
For the average consumer, they can log into Twitter to update grandma about the lives of the grandchildren and to provide links to family pictures.
Although the service has been available since 2006, the Internet marketing community was really slow to catch on to the value of the Twitter community. Most Internet marketers hadn't heard of Twitter until 2008. Even then, online marketers were slow to see any real value in the platform. But in 2009, Twitter finally hit its stride in getting the word out about its service, in large part due to the Ashton Kutcher vs. CNN Twitter Follower Challenge.
Ashton Kutcher (@aplusk) challenged CNN (@cnnbrk) to a race to one million Twitter Followers. On April 17th, 2009, Ashton became the first Twitter user to reach one million followers. CNN passed the mark a few hours later, but Ashton won the race fair and square.