Gotta Watch: Why we're Tweeting 5 years later...
Onlookers take photos during the revolution in Egypt.
March 21st, 2011
11:34 AM ET

Gotta Watch: Why we're Tweeting 5 years later...

Today marks the five-year anniversary of Twitter. Despite all the skeptics who said the concept was just a fad, it looks like Tweeting is here to stay. Here are some of our favorite videos highlighting how communication through 140 characters or less has changed our world.

The Twitter revolution – Twitter's impact as a tool for political and social change was profound during the uprising in Egypt. And the United States was paying close attention. CNN's Jill Dougherty looks at the impact of social media on U.S. foreign policy and how the White House is trying to fight what it calls "internet repression."

[cnn-video url="http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/world/2011/02/15/tsr.dougherty.digital.activism.cnn"%5D

'Tiger blood' and Twitter – Whether you like it or not, celebrities are also harnessing the power of Twitter and if anyone knows the power of Twitter, it's Charlie Sheen. He set the Guinness World Record for gaining the most Twitter followers in a single day. A million followers? That's so early March. He's now surpassed 3 million.

[cnn-video url="http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/bestoftv/2011/03/03/exp.nr.sheen.million.twitter.cnn"%5D

Tweeting for charity – While celebrities are pumping up their fame with the social media tool, many other outlets are using it for charitable reasons. Our Fredricka Whitfield reports on a grassroots organization called Beremedy that is using Twitter as a tool to help those in need. The concept is simple. They Tweet a need. If you can help, you Tweet back.

[cnn-video url="http://cnn.com/video/?/video/us/2011/03/19/whitfield.tweet.a.need.cnn"%5D

You can read more on the five-year anniversary of Twitter here.

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Filed under: Celebrity • Charlie Sheen • Gotta Watch • Media • Showbiz • TV • Twitter
soundoff (82 Responses)
  1. RUFFNUTT

    who the heck tweets? seems like a real waste of time..

    March 21, 2011 at 12:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Darrin

      Interesting that you find tweeting a waste of time but yet take the time to post a comment.

      March 21, 2011 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • ASSASSINews

      @Darrin – Interesting how you find posting comments on a major news outlet as a comparable waste of time to 140 characters worth of any individual's random meaningless thoughts. Your response is hackneyed, please stop.

      March 21, 2011 at 2:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jim

      Interesting that you are all just stupid.

      March 21, 2011 at 3:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • JD

      @ASSASSINews Interesting that you don't realize that Twitter is a "major news outlet"...New Information is New Information..*cough*.someone has the inability to think outside the box...

      March 21, 2011 at 3:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • denis

      Twitter news = Unconfirmed rumors. Death panels anyone?

      March 21, 2011 at 3:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • RUFFNUTT

      @darrin ...you sound like an elf.. dont make me get 'elf thumper 2' out..

      the only elves i like make cookies. and live in a tree..

      March 21, 2011 at 3:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • MM

      Twitter isn't news, it is first hand accounts that are largely unverified! For Americans at least – Twitter is another innovation of self indulgence. "Hi, here I am, please care about me and my lame tweets". Sure twitter has it uses for those people who are a brand in and of themselves (celebrities), but for the average person I could care less what you had for breakfast. If you have real friends, a job and a life, where does one have time for twitter?

      March 21, 2011 at 3:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Calvin

      I tweet. I want the world to know what I am doing at all times. Right now, I am sitting on the toilet and I'm.... You must follow me on twitter to get the rest of the tweet.

      March 21, 2011 at 4:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jazz7

      I know I"d rather BLOG

      March 21, 2011 at 6:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • greg

      tweet tweet,tweet tweet,everybody,sing with me, tweet tweet,tweet tweet,the guy went tweet tweet tweet.....

      March 21, 2011 at 10:05 pm | Report abuse |
  2. cm

    Because there are too many iddling minds, people talk to much and do very little.
    The sad part they are talking and not saying anything. Tweet That!

    March 21, 2011 at 1:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ray

      James Brown said it best, "Talkin loud, but ain't sayin nothin"

      March 21, 2011 at 4:06 pm | Report abuse |
  3. David

    Tweeting is narcissism at it's technological worst.

    March 21, 2011 at 1:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • DCBuckeye

      EXACTLY. As I tell people, I refuse to "tweet," but you can go "tweet" yourself . . .

      March 21, 2011 at 1:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • schweb

      ...and posting your comment on a CNN news blog would be what...Dave?

      March 21, 2011 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Casual

      Agreed, and posting on a CNN site is NOT tweeting my friends. I would much rather engage in a good old fashion debate with SMART people on a web site than to tweeeettttttyyyy all the day. I'm with you Dave.

      March 21, 2011 at 3:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ian

      Most of the people on here do not come across as smart though. I have always been shocked at the pathetic banter that litters these comments.

      March 21, 2011 at 4:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Will

      But YOU're smart, Ian. Ain'tcha?

      March 21, 2011 at 6:24 pm | Report abuse |
  4. conradshull

    Why? Insecurity manufactured by the "helping" professions and television.

    March 21, 2011 at 1:24 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Jim

    What is with CNN's obsession with Facebook and Tweeting? They report random "tweets" as if they are legitimate sources. Also, I don't care what somebody has to say about certain subjects on Facebook, just report the facts without all the lay-person commentary.

    March 21, 2011 at 1:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bill

      Agreed. CNN also loves to mention how a video has gone "viral," as if that provides additional credibility. At one time CNN revolutionized news reporting, now they let their "iReporters" do their job for them.

      March 21, 2011 at 3:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • James

      ...CNN has learned the value of "outsourcing"...why pay for all of those expenisve reporters?

      March 21, 2011 at 3:33 pm | Report abuse |
  6. CC

    Only celebrities tweet and the public knows that.... enough with twitter, it'll never be the next facebook.

    March 21, 2011 at 1:45 pm | Report abuse |
  7. RobbeeBobbee

    Elmer Fudd: I'm hunting wabbit!

    March 21, 2011 at 1:48 pm | Report abuse |
  8. DeLoveSaL

    The right to express our self is freedom, as long as it's not by force. Everyone knows, (or should know), that saying something doesn't make it true. I think the biggest problem with freedom of speach is people getting offended at others who speak just to cause problems. Ignore them people. Let them stick their foot in their mouth, maybe that way they will learn. Surely they don't learn when their goal is to get a rise out of you, & they do!

    March 21, 2011 at 2:10 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Alice

    Twitter, like any new technology, is only as interesting as the people using it. If people use it to share every dull random thought that floats through their head, sure, Twitter can look moronic. But there are plenty of people who use it constructively to either find or share information or make new friendships and working relationships they otherwise might not have been able to. And that's why it can be exciting and engaging. It's not what Twitter is, it's what people bring to the table.

    It's no different than blog comments. Some sites I read have an excellent source of information in the comments, others, well, it's people saying how stupid Twitter is.

    March 21, 2011 at 2:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • MIchael

      Well said Alice, well said!

      April 13, 2011 at 3:12 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Lila

    When there's something newsworthy Tweets are interesting, but for 99% of the time they are boring and only connect to articles most of us have already read. Don't understand why these dull people just don't set their accounts to private. Everyone seems to Tweet when they are rushing to an airport so we all think they live busy and exciting lives. Why?

    March 21, 2011 at 2:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Casual

      Good point......I agree.

      March 21, 2011 at 3:42 pm | Report abuse |
  11. banasy

    ....I got nothing.

    March 21, 2011 at 2:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jazz7

      Banasy, what do u mean ?

      March 21, 2011 at 6:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • gill

      BANASY HAS NOTHING. yet she commented.....very interesting

      March 22, 2011 at 8:03 am | Report abuse |
  12. Afghanistan flu tweetsofnarcccisssist

    Peliosi tweeets..first you get little sniffle.. Eyes get runny.. You lose your sense of smell..disorientation..little disy.. Call to see if you got some credit for libya..then stomach cramps..coughing..forgot to wear a veil.. Call bahrain to speak with hillary..severe nausea..diareahhh.. Basically another great day in another perfect year.

    March 21, 2011 at 2:45 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Darien

    I think people should see this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uk8x3V-sUgU
    It puts the whole social meda as a tool of revolution in perspective very well.

    The proponents of Twitter/etc love to use these examples to further their cause, but they never discuss the downside of social media. How convenient.

    March 21, 2011 at 2:51 pm | Report abuse |
  14. peaberryjo

    Don't want to "tweet"? Don't

    March 21, 2011 at 3:00 pm | Report abuse |
  15. DD

    Like any social medium, Twitter is what you make of it. I find it useful for instantaneous updates from a live event such as sports especially auto racing. Follow the right people & it's faster & more specific coverage than TV or radio, if that is even available.

    March 21, 2011 at 3:09 pm | Report abuse |
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