What is Microblogging? - Definition & Importance

Instructor: Beth Hendricks

Beth holds a master's degree in integrated marketing communications, and has worked in journalism and marketing throughout her career.

Microblogging allows us to share short pieces of content with the world wherever we are! In this lesson, learn more about what microblogging is, where it came from and why it's important.

Stream of Consciousness

Have you ever blogged? How about microblogged? You might say no to the latter, but if you've ever posted something on social media, surprise! You're a microblogger.

That's right; microblogging isn't some abstract media that only appeals to certain types of people. Most of us are microblogging on a daily basis when we post short messages about our lives. The types of websites where we can microblog offer a stream of consciousness; that is, a way to share our thoughts as they happen.

Let's take a closer look at this fairly new form of communication, where it came from and why it's important.

Microblogs or Tumblelogs?

You're probably acquainted with traditional blogs, websites devoted to writing about personal interests or even professional pages built into company websites. The idea of blogging changes significantly, however, when you put that little word, ''micro,'' at the beginning.

Instead of lengthy paragraphs and entire webpages, microblogging involves short snippets or small pieces of text, images, video, audio and other forms of content posted to social platforms.

Tumblelogs, a term derived specifically from microblogging on the social networking site Tumblr, is actually synonymous with the term ''microblog.'' Tumblelogs is to Tumblr what Tweets are to Twitter. Today, the word ''microblog'' is used widely to explain sharing content across all social media channels.

The portability of microblogging makes it very popular.
twitter, microblogging, tumblelog, microblog

Microblogging has grown in popularity because of its immediacy and availability. Regardless of whether you use a desktop computer, tablet or mobile phone, you can participate in reading and writing microblog content.

History of Microblogs

To some, it may seem like microblogging has been around a long time, it only got its start in 2007. That's when Twitter burst on the scene and gave people a platform to express their thoughts in 140 characters or less.

Twitter itself was a convergence of sorts between the concepts of texting, instant messaging and mobile technology. The ability to text gave way to short, text-style updates. Those texts progressed to the ability to publish them on social sites. And, today, we call those updates, microblogs.

Twitter, more than any other social networking site, is known as a microblogging site because of its restrictions on members' character count. By design, users are limited in the amount they can share. Other social media tools like Facebook and Instagram have come to be known as microblogging sites as well, though you can write much more in either of those environments than Twitter allows (as of late 2017, their max is 280 characters).

Importance of Microblogs

Microblogs are important because they allow us to connect with the world around us. Microblogging sites give us a type of online community in which to interact. We can also use these sites as a way to learn, almost immediately, about current events or time-sensitive information. In that way, they keep us informed.

Sites where microblogging happens are great aggregators of information, meaning you can ingest a lot of content from different people and places without navigating to other websites.

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