Social networking site Twitter without fail was observed as another integral way the KONY 2012 campaign has been shared and made viral. Like that of YouTube and Facebook, this form of ‘new media’ (Bainbridge 2011) within society has allowed for the rise of consumer generated content and ultimately the spread of opinion and information independent to main stream media. Bainbridge, Beasly and Tynan (Media and Journalism Second edition (2011) Australia: Oxford University Press) defined twitter as so:
Twitter is most often used as a tool to track the minute-by-minute activities of friends and celebrities. It provides instant updates on news and events straight to mobile phones, email inboxes and websites of subscribers and readers.
Also like Facebook, the content producer can build an interactive relationship with their reader, or in this case follower, as they tweet back directly or stream the ‘tweet’ to another site or Blog. Twitter users such as Justin Bieber, Oprah Winfrey, Bill Gates, Rihanna and Ellen DeGeneres were observed to be among the many who have, as the Daily Telegraph have put it, “contributed to the phenomenon by tweeting messages and links to millions of followers” due to the nature of this relationship.
Justin Bieber with over 18 million followers tweeted:
#Kony2012 is number 1 trending topic on Twitter worldwide!! See why it might change ur life
Singer Rihanna with over 15 million followers tweeted:
#KONY2012 Spread the word!!! PLEASE go to Invisiblechildren.com Even if tis 10 minutes Trust me, you NEED to know about this! #1LOVE
With such a fan base towards celebrities like Bieber and Rihanna their viewpoint, their message and ultimately their call for support would have successfully gained the attention of many whom became one of the 70 million viewers of the video.
One can therefore recognise Twitter’s power as a channel to spread immediate updates instantaneously. With Twitter followers having very similar demographic qualities to those on Facebook and YouTube, it can be suggested the various forms of social networking work interrelatedly to allow an issue like KONY 2012 become prominent across many channels of communication and in turn be made viral.