Media mogul Rupert Murdoch and Twitter seem to have teamed up recently. Currently, the partnership is purely for social networking purposes. However, speculation and gossip has already started up questioning Murdoch's intent. Did he join Twitter because he was late to the investing game with regards to Facebook and poured millions into the failing My Space to legally keep up with the social networking sector, or did he join purely to simplify his communication skills to 140 character messages to avoid his often controversial statements?
Murdoch, who is often in the news himself, but more so as of late due to the phone-hacking trial regarding his publication "News of the World," has a way with words that does not seem to always have a positive tone even when his intent is not negative. Immediately gaining 54,000 followers, he is only following four, one of them being Twitter co-founder, Jack Dorsey, who welcomed @rupertmurdoch to the site via @jack. Dorsey bestowed the blue tick on the Murdoch and Twitter friendship which is usually reserved for high-profile clients to authenticate that the tweets are really originating from the real person represented by the tweeter's handle. Many are suspicious that the tweets are from Murdoch himself. Others believe his wife, Wendi Deng, is behind the tweets as she, too, opened an account at the start of 2012.
After several blunders by the Ã©lite, Ashton Kutcher's support of Joe Paterno one of the latest highly publicized and criticized messages, many celebrities turn over their famous Twitter "@handles" to public relations representatives to avoid further bloopers and embarrassment. Once the popularity soars on social networking sites, it is very hard to change Twitter names. Kutcher's estranged wife, actress Demi Moore, has not changed hers from @MrsKutcher.
The "Q" score, which is a number assessing an individual's popularity, is used by everyone from media to marketing firms when deciding whether a person will draw audiences, customers, and anything that will increase profits for a company associating itself with the highest ranked "Q" scorers. Ironically, the "Q" is becoming less popular itself as networking site measurements are real-time calculations of how often a celebrity is "#" or "@" mentioned. Speculation that Wendi Deng, Murdoch's highly defensive wife, is trying to develop a more positive reputation for the her husband, is circulating.
However, this may be true as Deng has already had to censor a tweet that @rupertmurdoch sent out insulting Brits. In addition, Deng has sent out several tweets denying that there is any interest in Murdoch and Twitter forming anything but what she termed a "new digital adventure." All of this comes a few weeks after a Saudi prince, an investor in Murdoch's News Corp, also bought a $300 million dollar stake in Twitter.
Whatever the goal, having Murdoch on Twitter is a huge endorsement for the company. Celebrity accounts, especially when they are tweeted by the person alone without interference from a PR firm, or PR wife, drive the most traffic on the microblogging site.