Thursday, July 26, 2012

US Survey Says Twitter’s Growth is Slowing Down

Unlocking Word Meanings
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

1. slack off (phrasal verb) 
[slak awf, of] – to become less in energy or activity
Example: The growth of sales of the company slacked off because of a new product from a competitor.

2. live (adj.) [lahyv] – actually happening at the same time of announcement or broadcast
Example: The reporters will go to the national event to deliver livenews updates to TV viewers.

3. diverse (adj.) [dih-vurs, dahy-, dahy-vurs] – made up of different kinds, qualities or characteristics
Example: The class is composed of students with diversenationalities.

4. sustain (v.) [suh-steyn– to keep up or maintain something; to make something continue
Example: The product must be advertised and updated often to sustain its popularity.

5. techie (n.) [tek-ee] – an informal term for a person who is interested in technological devices, such as computers
Example: He asked a techie to find out the problem with his laptop.

Article (10 minutes)
Read the text below.
According to a survey conducted by Pew Center for Internet and American Life, Twitter’s growth seems to be slacking off, because data show only 8% of Americans check their Twitter accounts each day.

This rate of Twitter use is higher than the 2% in November 2010 and 5% in August, but when compared to the use of other networking sites, the 8% rate is very low. Sixty six percent of the people interviewed in the survey said they use Facebook, LinkedIn, or Google Plus.

There seems to be some growth in terms of number of tweets per day, advertisements, and celebrities and brands using Twitter, but the proportion of people using it is relatively low. Twitter has only 140 million active users per month, while Facebook has 901 million active users.

Twitter has been useful in spreading live news updates in different areas of the world and promoting communication between diverse groups of people. But Twitter is still not as popular as other networking sites.

However, Twitter spokesperson Carolyn Penner says Twitter is actively growing. The number of users quickly increased from 100 million just last September to the current 140 million. Furthermore, a billion tweets are produced every three days.

In terms of the ages of Twitter users, the number of adults using the service doubled since May 2011 with mostly younger people sustaining the service’s growth.

Meanwhile, techies argue that Twitter and Facebook are not comparable as they serve different purposes—Twitter for news updates and Facebook for friend connections and activities.

Viewpoint Discussion
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor. 

Discussion A

·         Which would you prefer, posting short messages through Twitter or using Facebook to connect with friends? Please explain your answer.
·         What features would you like in a social networking site (e.g., music, games, photo uploads, friend connections, privacy, etc.)?

Discussion B

·         What makes social networking so popular?
·         Do you think social networking sites will still be important in the future? Why or why not?


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