Tweetie pie

This morning’s Observer column.

Twitter’s been around for ages, but it’s now gone ‘mainstream’ – ie, been taken up by the brain-dead media, possibly because they’ve discovered that celebs have Twitter accounts. Jonathan Ross (@wossy in Twitterspeak) used it to send dispatches to his admirers during his banishment from the airwaves. I’ve just checked and he has 156,092 followers. But this horde is dwarfed by Stephen Fry’s (@stephenfry) 321,578.

This gives Mr Fry a certain amount of clout. A few months ago he pronounced on the BlackBerry Storm, a new phone being touted by Vodafone. “Shockingly bad,” he tweeted. “I mean embarrassingly awful. Such a disappointment. Rushed out unfinished. What a pity.” Given that many Twitterers are, like Mr Fry, gadget freaks, his tweets effectively shut down that corner of the market.

Suddenly companies are beginning to think that having a lot of Twitter followers might be a good idea…

LATER: Jason Calcanis’s stunt generated an inspired spoof about Twitter “premium accounts”.