Blog: Mobile Twitter Game Heats Up; Oprah, Ashton Kutcher Fan the Flames

Uber “micro-blogging” service Twitter has seen a drastic spike in popularity in recent days thanks to the support of a number of high-profile celebrities like Kelso--ahem, Ashton Kutcher--and the Queen Bee of Middle America, Oprah Winfrey. Along with all the newfound interest come a number of crafty software developers hoping to cash in on the mass hilarity with new, feature-packed Twitter applications and services for smartphones that let you “tweet” from anywhere there’s cellular connectivity.

Twitter’s not new--CIO.com interviewed co-founder Jack Dorsey loooong before the word "tweet" become a part of the everyday, pop vernacular. Nor is the concept of tweeting from your phone; Twitter has always been meant for use on the go, and even before Twitter-specific mobile applications started popping up left and right like weeds in an unkempt garden, users could send and receive updates via SMS text message.

There have also been plenty of celebrities on Twitter from the start. Shaquille O’Neill, Lance Armstrong, Tony Hawk and Trent Reznor, just to name a few. But a recent, high-profile race between Mr. Kutcher and CNN to reach 1 million Twitter followers made national headlines, catapulting Twitter into new heights of public awareness. (Kutcher won, by the way. Huzzah.)

Now we get the addition of THE Oprah Winfrey, Ms. Media, Madame Make-You-Or-Break-You, to the ranks of famous Twitter users. As I write this, Winfrey is having Kutcher on her show to celebrate his recent victory...and to talk up Twitter. Oprah has already gained nearly 20,000 followers since this morning, and you can bet ten-dollar-bills to TV dinners a significant percentage of those folks joined Twitter today simply because of the Oprah charade.

What’s more? Many of those dewy-eyed Twitter users will very likely begin investigating new and interesting ways to use the service. I can just hear the din now: “Wait, you can use Twitter on your phone? Hawt.”

And if your mom or grandma asks you what Twitter is, or worse yet signs up, well, you can just thank Oprah.

Oprah may know books, but I suspect she's not up to date on mobile apps yet. So let's get you up to speed on today's best choices for mobile tweeting.

It's worth noting that a while back, I assembled a “Best of the Best” guide of mobile applications for BlackBerry, iPhone and Windows Mobile devices, and at the time, I had to do some digging to come up with a worthy list. Not so anymore. All the options I included are still viable, but mobile app developers have wisely stepped up their efforts in the past couple months, and my list of mobile Twitter apps is looking a little long-in-the-tooth.

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