TODAY

TODAY   |  August 07, 2013

New documentary examines the global impact of Twitter

Seven years have passed since the launch of Twitter and its impact can be felt in many aspects of daily life – from consuming news to keeping up with friends and family. NBC’s Carl Quintanilla reports on the new CNBC documentary that explores the social media phenomenon.

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>>> launched seven years ago and changed the way we share opinion, get news and keep up with friends and family. the new documentary the twitter revolution examines the global phenomenon and it's impact on holiday.

>> when your goal is to be the global town square it helps to have a few celebrities to draw a crowd. twitter is now home base for the who's who. after a lifetime of publicists and handlers what william likes best about twitter is speaking his mind no matter the feedback.

>> don't get into hating. get into expressing your opinion without four letter words and express what you think so i can answer it and we can have a dialogue.

>> carl is the reporter for the twitter revolution. good to see you.

>> good to see you, matt.

>> clearly hollywood embraced this but put it in perspective in terms of the broader population.

>> clearly from that segment you can see if you love justin bieber you might be on twitter. if you love matt lauer for instance, you're going to join twitter. there's a tipping point, though, when the pope comes on twitter and creates an account and says i'm going to start making blessings on twitter. this has changed the way everyone sort of receives and gives information and it's -- they're trying to move beyond the celebrity world.

>> what percentage of the american population is tweeting.

>> american adults online, maybe one in five.

>> what happens to those four people that are not tweeting? are they left behind ? is it essential or will it become essential or will it be the last big thing.

>> ais lot of people wonder am i being left out of the party. i try to explain it to my mom and she says leave me alone . we look at the boston marathon . there's a story where people that were eyewitnesses to element of that manhunt, to that explosion tweeted first. they beat the media. we had them on after they tweeted. it was ground zero for information and that's what twitter is counting on.

>> that is the good side of twitter. there is a darker side of twitter. there are a lot of haters tweeting out there and the company just found a way to allow people to actually report that type of behavior directly through a tweet as opposed to navigating the website. what's the future of that?

>> it's a tough call. they have a team of 40 people that investigate harassment. who investigate stalking. death threats. they will suspend your account but you don't need to give your real name.

>> no accountability.

>> you don't need to give your phone number. and that makes it very easy to misbehave and torment to the people to the point where an alec baldwin says i've had enough of this, i'm closing my account.

>> real quickly, you talked to the ceo of twitter. what are the plans for growing this company?

>> he has a big enemy in facebook. it's five times their size. a lot of people still see facebook as the central ground for social media . he's trying to go around the world. 70% of the users are outside of the country. we don't know if they'll go public. he has a big job. staying relevant. not just how we communicate today but how we will communicate in five years.

>> fascinating subject. thank you very