Twitter gets the pontifex tweeting whilst changing its business model.

Pope First's Twitter
and as noted by Queensland University of Technology internet and social media researcher Jean Burgess the platform has matured: “As big events took place on Twitter, a few natural disasters, a few elections, a few uprisings, the mainstream media picks up on it as it’s something that’s actually legitimate and actually important and therefore brings massive new numbers of users to the platform,”

“What Twitter is clearly doing now and including with this PR stuff about the year in review, is putting all of their weight behind a carefully constructed single sort of business model that’s positioning it as a mainstream media platform that can do serious business with advertisers.”

Under pressure to deliver returns to its venture capital investors, Twitter’s business model has changed. It used to want to know what its users were doing and encouraged them to find out what was happening to people and organisations.

“What we’re seeing here is Twitter telling us that what Twitter is now for, (it) is for following big global events, celebrities and extending our mainstream media consumption,” she said. “They’re a new kind of media company that relies on our social networks and on us voluntarily sharing and commenting on information rather than just receiving it, like in a broadcast model.

“Just like YouTube has changed over the past few years from being focused purely on amateur content to being a more mainstream media company, Twitter’s trying to do the same thing.”

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    • Graham:

      that’s because you expected to find it under “S’ for spirituality !

      But never fear, “Levant” is still here, though no one really is sure of what countries it now consists.


  • Want less time in purgatory? Follow Pope Francis on Twitter, says Vatican

    Raw Story/The Guardian, By Tom Kington, July 16

    In its latest attempt to keep up with the times the Vatican has married one of its oldest traditions to the world of social media by offering “indulgences” to followers of Pope Francis’ tweets.

    The church’s granted indulgences reduce the time Catholics believe they will have to spend in purgatory after they have confessed and been absolved of their sins.

    The remissions got a bad name in the Middle Ages because unscrupulous churchmen sold them for large sums of money. But now indulgences are being applied to the 21st century.


    But attendance at events such as the Catholic World Youth Day, in Rio de Janeiro, a week-long event starting on 22 July, can also win an indulgence.

    Mindful of the faithful who cannot afford to fly to Brazil, the Vatican’s sacred apostolic penitentiary, a court which handles the forgiveness of sins, has also extended the privilege to those following the “rites and pious exercises” of the event on television, radio and through social media.

    “That includes following Twitter,” said a source at the penitentiary, referring to Pope Francis’ Twitter account, which has gathered seven million followers. “But you must be following the events live. It is not as if you can get an indulgence by chatting on the internet.”

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