Oprah almost broke Twitter -- or so it seems, anyway. The microblogging service's page views surged more than tenfold last week, according to data provided to blogger TechCrunch by Compete.
Oprah wasn't the only reason Twitter had a big week. In addition to her arrival on the service, last week saw Ashton Kutcher win a much-publicized race with CNN to 1 million Twitter followers. Then on Friday, a snarky bundle of code called Mikeyy attacked the increasingly popular service. All that traffic conspired to bring the microblogger to its knees on Saturday for nine whole minutes. (Shudder.)
So Oprah is only partly to blame for Twitter's troubles. Yet the pain was more than worth it. Thanks to her, Twitter is a far more powerful research tool today -- and not just for consumeristas like Amazon.com
Think about the cultural zeitgeist that Twitter represents. Following brands on Twitter gives us a real-time look at what's on the rise and what's under assault in the public consciousness. Twitter users knew sooner than most about the apparent "glitch" that unfairly swept certain books into the darkest recesses of Amazon's digital bookstore. More recently, we've seen the Twitterati comment about Oracle's
Someday, there's going to be a brand measurement index that fluctuates as the mood of the tweetstream changes -- like a mood ring for marketers and investors. That's the true potential of Twitter, the billion-dollar opportunity. It's also why Google
Thanks to Oprah, the price is still rising.
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Fool contributor Tim Beyers had stock and options positions in Google, and a stock position in Oracle, at the time of publication. Check out Tim's portfolio holdings and Foolish writings, or connect with him on Twitter as @milehighfool. The Motley Fool is also on Twitter as @TheMotleyFool. The Fool's disclosure policy is clinically proven to fight disclosure decay.