California Earthquake Prompts Twitter Reaction

    October 31, 2007

At any given moment, people on Twitter are likely to tell you that they’re hungry, sore, or tired.  But last night, people used Twitter to report something that was literally of earth-shaking importance: an earthquake near San Jose.

Thankfully, there don’t seem to have been any injuries, and damage was minimal.  That may explain why there was so much activity on Twitter – some people would have had to take cover or flee the area, instead of type, if the quake had been more serious.

Still, MG Siegler wrote, “My entire Twitter screen is breaking SF earthquake news.  As I’ve said before, this is exactly what Twitter is perfect for.”  Indeed, we’ve already seen Twitter get heavy (and practical) use due to California’s wildfires; together, these events seem to represent a turning point in Twitter’s history.

 California Earthquake Prompts Twitter Reaction

Few Twitter users in California needed to wait on the local or national news to find out what was happening around them; Twitter users who live elsewhere, and would have had to wait even longer, also had immediate access to the earthquake info.

Silly uses of Twitter may persist, but that’s, in part, what it’s there for.  Recent developments have proven that the service is also “there” when people really need it.