What Twitter means to me (in 140 characters) by Rory Cellan-Jones, Trevor Beattie, Rory Sutherland, Sir Martin Sorrell and more

Twitter has come a long way since Jack Dorsey sent the first message on the platform then known as 'twttr' on 21 March 2006. As its much-hyped IPO gets underway on the New York Stock Exchange, all the attention today is on Twitter's numbers. With that in mind, The Drum thought it would be an apt moment to remind people what the site is really about – which is, of course, its users.

We asked some of the top tweeters from the worlds of media and marketing (and one man notable by his absence on the site) one simple question: In no more than 140 characters, what does Twitter mean to you?

Here's what they said...

Rory Cellan-Jones, BBC technology correspondent

For reporters, it's now the place to seek answers, promote your work, be informed, amused, even enraged. How would we cope without Twitter?

@ruskin147@BBCRoryCJ

Trevor Beattie, partner, Beattie McGuinness Bungay

With the exception of bath-leg pix and its total inability to comprehend irony, I believe that Twitter is really rather splendid. Don't you?

@trevorbmbagency

Sir Martin Sorrell, CEO, WPP

An enormously successful PR and data medium and IPO!

Sir Martin Sorrell is not on Twitter

Poppy Dinsey, founder, What I Wore Today

For me, Twitter means being connected, informed, entertained, surprised, disappointed, shocked, educated and surrounded. For free. 24/7.

@PoppyD

Nicolas Roope, founder, Poke

@Twitter taught us less can be much much more

@NikRoope

Rory Sutherland, ECD and vice-chairman, OgilvyOne

The freedom to share without placing the recipient under any obligation to read, respond or reciprocate.

@rorysutherland

Jemima Kiss, head of technology, the Guardian

It's about brevity, about the now, and about having an active, open public voice. It's the first place I turn for internet wisdom!

@JemimaKiss

Andrew Bloch, group managing director, Frank PR

Twitter is a pulse – a fast & easy way to keep in contact with & feel connected to a diverse set of interesting individuals and news sources

@AndrewBloch

Laura Jordan Bambach, creative director, Dare

Inspiration, agitation, a place to fuel imagination. A stream of songs and links and # and cats and cakes and gifs and trash.

@laurajaybee

Tom Bedecarré, chairman, AKQA

Twitter has shifted the epicenter of Silicon Valley from Palo Alto to San Francisco, my hometown.

@tombed

Marketing Chap, chief chap officer, MarketingChap.com

Most social media platforms allow a chap to amplify influence he already has. Uniquely, Twitter allows one to build influence from scratch.

@Marketing_Chap Marketing Chap blogs for The Drum at Thoughts from a marketing chap

Abba Newbery, director of advertising, News UK

It was the first social channel that was made for mobile and has defined a new language of mobile design and interaction

@Peckham79

Andrew Boulton, copywriter, Together Agency

I should say it’s a powerful communication tool. But really it’s a test ground for cheese jokes that my wife doesn’t think are funny.

@Boultini Andrew writes the Writer, Reader, Rascal blog for The Drum

Annette King, chief executive, OgilvyOne EAME

Breaking news; from the frivolous to the serious the odds are you’ll see it on Twitter, before it hits the traditional news

@AnnetteKing

Jeremy Waite, head of social strategy, Adobe EMEA

As the most powerful and underrated comms tool on the planet, I love @Twitter for giving EVERYONE a voice and making the world smaller

@jeremywaiteJeremy is chairing the judging panel at the Social Buzz Awards

Mel Exon, chief digital officer, BBH & co-founder, BBH Labs

Twitter is the crack cocaine of the chattering classes. Addicted at the start, I'm still a devoted regular user. How often can you say that?

@melexFor the latest on Twitter's IPO, read our up-to-the-minute coverage rounding up the industry reaction

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Cameron Clarke

Cameron Clarke has been a journalist at The Drum for more than 10 years and is now its Deputy Editor. Based in the UK, he is primarily responsible for overseeing The Drum's coverage of the media industry and marketing agencies. His work includes long reads on Brewdog, Patagonia, De Correspondent and the future of sports rights. He was named Feature Writer of the Year at the 2017 PPA Scottish Magazine Awards.

All by Cameron