On the 8th of May 2009 Twitter, a social networking / microblogging site, released “TwitDoc”, enabling the website users to quickly and easily upload documents for sharing. This release was intended to allow Twitter users to share documents in much the same way that another release from the same company; “TwitPic” has allowed it’s users to share image files amongst its members.
The Twitter website was created in 2006 by Jack Dorsey. Initially the website provided short text messages (defined as 140 characters in length) free over the internet. This functionality has been augmented with the ability to send messages to/from mobile phones where charges may apply from network operators.
Website users can set up profiles and include other users, even inviting them from their Yahoo mail, Hotmail and Gmail accounts to share messages and other files. Twitter has been reported to be one of the fastest growing web communities on the internet.
The service provided by Twitter can also be integrated into other web based applications via an API (Application Programming Interface) provided by Twitter. You may well be using Twitter without even knowing it, via one of these desktop or web based applications!
“TwitDoc” is attempting to build on the success of “TwitPic” by extending file types that can be distributed between members from short messages to image files and now with “TwitDoc” to document files. File support has been initially provided for Microsoft office documents and pdf documents, but it is expected that this will be extended to many other file formats.
The secret to making this service as easy as possible has been integration with Scribd, a popular document sharing hub already available. This has ensured a straight forward experience while uploading and distributing files even if this is your first time using either Scribd or “TwitDoc”.
The Success of “TwitDoc” will largely depend on how much demand there is out there in the online communities to distribute documents in the same way that short messages and pictures has helped disbursed and largely mobile communities stay in contact.
In general the World Wide Web is a reflection of the society we have created at the start of the 21st Century. As a reflection of this society, Twitter has already been used as the means to publish the first pictures of the ditching of the US Airways Flight 1549 in the River Hudson. Twitter was also used to spread information regarding terrorist movements during the Mumbai attacks. Twitter has been used as a tool for gauging public opinion by the mainstream media and posting extremist ideologies.
It looks like we’ll just have to wait and see what the unique impact of “TwitDoc” will be.