Oprah's Midas touch gives Twitter a 43% boost

Talk show queen fires off her first Tweet and brings her audience along for the ride

It seems Oprah Winfrey's Midas touch isn't limited to a talk show, her favorite brownies and surging book sales.

She has the same effect on Twitter users, according to Heather Hopkins, senior online analyst with Hitwise, U.S., a company that measures online traffic. Last Friday, the queen of daytime TV made her first Tweet - live on her own The Oprah Show. And as fate would have it, Oprah joined Twitter just days after actor Ashton Kutcher beat CNN in a much-publicized battle to be the first Twitterer to gain 1 million followers.

It was, to put it simply, a celebrity-filled week for Twitter, which was once considered a geek's best friend.

According to Hitwise, the number of U.S. visits to Twitter jumped 24% from last Thursday to last Friday, when Winfrey posted her first Tweet and Kutcher appeared on her show to discuss Twittering. Twitter visits on the day were up a robust 43% from the week earlier, Hitwise added.

And 37% of those visiting Twitter on Friday, April 17 were new visitors, reported Hopkins.

"The search term 'oprah twitter' was the Number 35 highest search term with the word 'twitter' last week and the Number 7 with 'oprah'," wrote Hopkins. "Considering that our search data is weekly and that the show only aired on Friday, this is impressive."

Last week, the Internet was abuzz with talk of whether or not all this mainstream media attention is changing Twitter. Are the likes of singer Britney Spears, Kutcher and Oprah taking the microblogging site in a different -- and arguably frivolous, nontechnology or nonbusiness -- direction?

Some longtime Twitterers may just feel like they're being punk'd.

"The attention that the competition for followers is getting is not a great thing," said Ezra Gottheil, an analyst at Technology Business Research Inc. "Anyone thinking of Twitter as something useful in business or in journalism is going to be kind of put off by this."

However, in a recent interview, Twitter co-founder Biz Stone said it's natural for people to be protective of the serious Twitter community, but he predicted that the site will grow and expand to wherever its users take it.

"People talk about the Twitter community, but I think there are a lot of Twitter communities," he said, adding that there are features they could add to the site that might help ease the growing pains. "As it grows, it breaks up into many, many sub-communities. In general, I trust folks to work things out on their own."

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags oprahWeb 2.0twitterashton kutcher

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Sharon Gaudin

Computerworld
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?