Once used mostly for one-time promos and marketing, Twitter is now something businesses are relying on to provide customer service. For instance, Southwest Airlines tweets to alert folks about delays. And Best Buy responds to questions and complaints via Twitter. And they're not alone.
Let's say you're thinking of ordering a pair of shoes online and you want to know the store's exchange policy. You could pick up the phone — but then you'll hear the old recording: "To ensure quality service, your call may be monitored or recorded."
Now, at the same time that Adam Steltzner's team was waiting for news from Curiosity, tens of thousands of people around the world were waiting for some news from the rover's own Twitter feed. One week after landing, nearly 900,000 followers are getting to know the unique personality of Mars Curiosity. That's the rover's name on Twitter.
RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
Here are a couple of Curiosity's tweets so far: You asked for pics from my trip, here you go: my first look of many to come of my new home, Mars.
The London Games have lived up to their hype as the first truly "social" Olympics. But social media like Twitter have also brought embarrassments, and even an arrest.
The London 2012 Games have been touted as the first Olympics to live fully in the age of social media. After all, the organization's Twitter feed has nearly 1.4 million followers, as it lists on its special portal for Facebook and other social sites. But a rash of scandals and news related to Twitter has put a new mark on the face of these games. And, as they say, it ain't pretty.