Ten billion twits can't be wrong

Fad of the day, Twitter celebrated its 10 billionth tweet on Friday, as it emerged that some 50 million tweets are posted every day.

Co-founder Biz Stone said registered Twitter accounts have grown more than 1,500 per cent over the past twelve months.

The 140 character messaging service is being used more for business than pleasure these days as users try to figure out what at tweet is worth. Some 20 per cent of 'tweets contain a reference to a product or brand, according to metrics released last week.

Some firms are unmoved, however. Research by Virgin Media Business has found that only a fraction of the FTSE top 100 outfits have jumped at Twitter.

Just 16 of the UK's top 100 companies are using the social networking site to communicate with customers.

Many companies have established Twitter feeds simply to avoid cyber-squatters, apparently. Virgin's study found that 57 per cent of the FTSE 100 have signed up to Twitter, but three-quarters (72 per cent) of these have not used their account to respond to customer enquiries or comments made about the company.

Phil Stewart, director of customer service, Virgin Media Business, thinks Twitter presents "an excellent opportunity for companies to engage with customers, but many are missing out."

He claims "creating a Twitter account and leaving it dormant or not responding to tweets by your customers is no better than opening a contact centre and not picking up the phone. In fact it is a lot worse as this lack of interaction can be viewed by millions."

Quite what Stewart's expertise in the field is, is not made clear. Plenty of Twitterers could tell him that blithering away into the twitosphere is a great waste of time and resources.