At a time when Iran is grappling with its 'control' of messages coming through Twitter, marketers around the world are also battling for Twitter's control.
This according to Echo Research, the international reputation analysis company, which has found that marketing, advertising and PR are increasingly targeting their efforts onto what is meant to be a free uncontrolled flow and dialogue directly among individuals.
While Twitter is seen as the major channel to secure brand awareness and loyalty, authenticity - an honest, open, transparent voice - is being questioned as advertisers muscle in from MySpace and Facebook, according to Echo's research of close to 100,000 media items globally in its study 'Who Owns Twitter'?
The study also showed that public relations appears to be slow in taking up these new channels of dialogue and engagement.
To coincide with this study, Echo has launched a timely and practical White Paper: Web 2.0 on making sense of Twitter, Facebook, blogs and other social media.
Said Group CEO Sandra Macleod:
"Perceptions of authenticity will be key, as will keeping track of the light-speed movement of issues across the different Web 2.0 channels."
Echo's Web 2.0 White Paper shows how research lets organisations work out where their communications and relationship focus should lie, above and beyond statistical indices like conversation ratings, prominence on search engines and viewing figures.
With descriptors, case studies, check lists and illustrations of different forms of measurement, the White Paper aims to demystify Web content and outline best practice guidelines for communicators and risk managers.
Looking at what lies ahead, Macleod adds:
"Increasingly, as with traditional media, online content providers and bloggers will need to validate their own trust credentials as people become more discerning. Also, new global communities emerging around common interests, authenticity and story-telling will power new forms of collaboration that we are only just beginning to witness, which plays directly to the strengths of public relations professionals."
Echo's White Paper:Web 2.0 and highlights of Echo's Who Owns Twitter? study are free to download from: http://www.echoresearch.com/en/thought-leadership/