When Twitter goes down, it becomes a national news story — even when it's only down for an hour or so. Twitter went down the morning of July 26, and even though the issue seemed to be somewhat resolved by noon or so, people were still reporting intermittent problems...and this was making national news
Let's explore why a Twitter malfunction would make national headlines:
Is it because so many of us are using it? Yes and no. About 8% of online adults in the United States use Twitter every day, while 15% of them have used Twitter before. That's a lot of people, but it's hardly everybody. It's not even a majority.
Is it because journalists use it? Probably. Twitter is (currently) a friend to the news business, so if that stream of up-to-the-millisecond news is interrupted, folks might miss something. Will they miss something important? Maybe. For instance: The Northeast was supposed to get a lot of severe weather the afternoon of July 26. Twitter is a place people might go to communicate if the power goes out. If Twitter's down, that's a problem.
It is because we're Twitter addicts? Maybe. Some people hang on Lady Gaga's every tweet. For others it's a primary method of conversation with people they may never meet in person. So while Twitter going down might not signal the end of days for most of the world, it will for these people. Your call on whether or not that's even worth a headline.
Is it because this is just how we communicate now? Um, yeah. Sure, not everyone uses Twitter, but a lot of people use social networking sites to communicate. When one of them goes down, it is, in the words of Ron Burgundy, kind of a big deal.
Do you think Twitter's hiccup was worth a national news headline?