What Is Microblogging?

A Definition of Microblogging with Examples

Photo © Kevin Kozicki / Getty Images

Definition:

Microblogging is a combination of blogging and instant messaging that allows users to create short messages to be posted and shared with an audience online. Social platforms like Twitter have become extremely popular forms of this new type of blogging, especially on the mobile web -- making it much more convenient to communicate with people compared to the days when desktop web browsing and interaction was the norm.

These short messages can come in the form of a variety of content formats including text, images, video, audio, and hyperlinks. The trend evolved around the later end the Web 2.0 era after social media and traditional blogging merged to create a way that was easier and faster to communicate with people online and keep them informed about relevant, shareable information at the same time.

Popular Examples of Microblogging Platforms

You may be using a microblogging website already without even knowing it. As it turns out, short but frequent social posting online is exactly what most people want, given that so many of us browse the web from our mobile devices when we're out on the go and our attention spans are shorter than ever.

Twitter: Twitter is one of the oldest and most well-known social platforms to be put under the "microblogging" category. While the 140-character limit still exists today, you can now also share videos, articles links, photos, GIFs, sound clips, and more through Twitter Cards in addition to regular text.

Tumblr: Tumblr takes inspiration from Twitter, but has fewer limitations and more features. You can certainly post a lengthy blog post if you want, but most users enjoy posting lots and lots of individual posts of visual content like photosets and GIFs. 

Instagram: Instagram is like a photo journal for wherever you go.

Rather than uploading multiple photos to an album the way we used to do via the desktop web on Facebook or Flickr, Instagram lets you post one photo at a time to show where you are and what you're doing.

Vine: YouTube made video blogging or "vlogging" popular back when people began uploading regular videos of themselves living their lives or talking about what interested in them. Vine is the mobile equivalent to YouTube -- a microblogging video platform where you can share anything you want in six seconds or less.

The Benefits of Microblogging Versus Traditional Blogging

Why would anyone want to start posting on a microblogging site? If you've been hesitant to jump on on a site like Twitter or Tumblr, here are a few reasons to consider trying them.

Less time spent developing content: It takes time to write or put together content for a lengthy blog post. With microblogging, on the other hand, you can post something new that takes as little as a few seconds to write or develop.

Less time spent consuming individual pieces of content: Because microblogging is such a popular form of social media and information consumption on mobile devices, it's worth being able to quickly get the gist of the post in a short, straight to the point format without needing to read or watch something that takes too much time.

The opportunity for more frequent posts: Traditional blogging involves longer but less frequent posts while microblogging involves the opposite (shorter and more frequent posts). Since you're saving so much time by focusing on just posting short pieces, you can afford to post more frequently.

An easier way to share urgent or time-sensitive information: Most microblogging platforms have been designed to be easy and fast to use. With a simple tweet, Instagram photo, Tumblr post, or Vine video, you can update everyone on what's going in your life (or even in the news) at this very moment. 

An easier, more direct way to communicate with followers: Besides being able to communicate better with more frequent and shorter posts, you can also use microblogging platforms to easily encourage and facilitate more interaction through commenting, tweeting, reblogging, liking and more.

 

Mobile convenience: Last but not least, microblogging wouldn't be as big of a deal as it is right now without the growing trend toward mobile web browsing. It's too hard to write, interact and consume lengthy blog posts on a smartphone or tablet, which is why microblogging goes hand in hand with this newer form of web browsing.

Articled edited by: Elise Moreau