The Big Blue Bird: IBM partners with Twitter

In social media, one of the most common features is some form of microblogging or short message service (SMS) that allows users to share brief status updates. Whereas others (e.g., Facebook and LinkedIn) include it among a list of many other features, Twitter is built on only this feature. Twitter status updates (tweets) are limited to a maximum of 140 characters, some of which is often used to link to web pages, photos, and videos, as well as to embed search terms (hashtags) making it easy to find related content.

Unlike other social networking services, you do not need a Twitter account for read-only access to its content, and creating an account will allow you to interact with other Twitter users without “friending” or “connecting” with them first. Although Twitter does permit one-to-one private conversations between users (direct messages), by default tweets are public, which enables many-to-many conversations. These simple, but powerful, features have made Twitter my primary social network since 2009.

Yesterday IBM and Twitter announced a partnership. “Twitter provides a powerful new lens through which to look at the world—as both a platform for hundreds of millions of consumers and business professionals, and as a synthesizer of trends,” IBM CEO Ginni Rometty remarked. “When it comes to enterprise transformation, IBM is an undisputed global leader in enabling companies to take advantage of emerging technologies and platforms,” Twitter CEO Dick Costolo remarked.

With approximately 280 million monthly active users worldwide tweeting about a wide range of topics including sports, politics, food, health, entertainment, business, and breaking news, Twitter is a tantalizing treasure trove of social data. However, bridging the gap between social data and enterprise IT systems and bringing all of those potential insights into the organization has been a challenge for businesses of all sizes looking to incorporate social data in their decision-making.

As IBM GM of Business Analytics Alistair Rennie blogged, “the new natural resource of social data is at last coming to the enterprise in a way that could help transform how business is done.” As Twitter VP of Data Strategy Chris Moody blogged, “to ensure that companies maximize the value of this new data set, IBM and Twitter will work together on a unique collection of enterprise solutions that include Twitter data in IBM’s analytics solutions.” This will be done by offering access to Twitter data through IBM cloud-based services, including Watson Analytics.

Ever since word of mouth became word of data, social media has been touted to be changing the tune of business, but that sales pitch’s song has always sounded a bit too pitchy. Therefore, I am looking forward to hearing how well the Big Blue Bird sings.

To learn more, visit You can also follow the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #IBMandTwitter

This post was brought to you by IBM for Midsize Business and opinions are my own. To read more on this topic, visit IBM’s Midsize Insider. Dedicated to providing businesses with expertise, solutions and tools that are specific to small and midsized companies, the Midsize Business program provides businesses with the materials and knowledge they need to become engines of a smarter planet.


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