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Why We Tweet

Friday, 9 Aug 2013 | 4:12 PM ET
Why we tweet: Part 1
Carl Quintanilla, host of CNBC's "#TwitterRevolution," discusses the state of social media with Matthew Knell, vice president, social and community, About.com; Melissa Rosenthal Brenner, senior vice president, marketing, the NBA; Heidi Moore, editor, U.S. finance and economics, The Guardian; and Christina Warren, senior tech analyst, Mashable.

Twitter has 200 million active users, 70 percent of whom live outside the U.S., tweeting in 35 different languages.

So, why do we tweet? This question was posed to a panel of Twitter power users and social media experts during a screening of CNBC's "#TwitterRevolution."

Matthew Knell, vice president, social and community, About.com; Melissa Rosenthal Brenner, senior vice president, marketing, the NBA; Heidi Moore, editor, U.S. finance and economics, The Guardian; and Christina Warren, senior tech analyst, Mashable.
Adam Jeffery | CNBC
Matthew Knell, vice president, social and community, About.com; Melissa Rosenthal Brenner, senior vice president, marketing, the NBA; Heidi Moore, editor, U.S. finance and economics, The Guardian; and Christina Warren, senior tech analyst, Mashable.

"I use Twitter as a newsfeed," said Heidi Moore, U.S. finance and economics editor for The Guardian, who has 36,000 followers and has sent more than 100,000 tweets.

"I'm there really for other people," she said. "I put things out so I [can] see how people respond and what they have to say about news stories, and to get a pulse of what's out there in the crowd. I think, as a journalist, how well you engage with Twitter is an indicator of how curious you are as a journalist."

As a marketer, Melissa Rosenthal Brenner, senior vice president of marketing at the National Basketball Association, said she was skeptical of Twitter initially because of the small number of active users.

"Like anything, I think it takes time," she said. "It's the influencers who are young and urban who embrace trends, and then it slowly percolates to Middle America."

The alignment of media and tech could not be clearer than during a week in which Jeff Bezos bought The Washington Post. Where does Twitter fit into all that?

"I think Twitter's probably the best-positioned major social network, and I kind of see Facebook on a decline, " said Matthew Knell, vice president of social and community at About.com.

"I think what's happening is the youth of the world are starting to fade as their parents join Facebook … and you're seeing this revolution back toward person-to-person or small-group communications."

Why do you use Twitter? Tweet your thoughts to @CNBCSocial with the hashtag #TwitterRevolution.

CNBC tells the story behind the rise of Twitter, the social media giant whose 200 million active users have made it a fixture at home and around the world. If you missed the premiere of "#TwitterRevolution," tune in Friday, Aug. 9 at 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. ET/PT.

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Contact #TwitterRevolution

  • Show Times

    Wednesday, August 7, 9p ET/PT



  • Carl Quintanilla is an Emmy-winning reporter and co-anchor of CNBC's "Squawk on the Street," broadcast live from the NYSE.