Twitter retools prompt, asks "What's happening?"

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Twitter unveiled a small marketing tweak today.

The company’s changed its main question from “What are you doing?” to “What’s happening?” It’s more of a cosmetic change to make it clearer to outsiders what Twitter is all about. Status updates have come to encompass a broad range of behavior, not just the much-mocked example of “I’m drinking a latte right now.” People use it share links, videos, images and small, provocative thoughts.

Co-founder Biz Stone writes:

“…a birds-eye view of Twitter reveals that it’s not exclusively about these personal musings. Between those cups of coffee, people are witnessing accidents, organizing events, sharing links, breaking news, reporting stuff their dad says, and so much more.

The fundamentally open model of Twitter created a new kind of information network and it has long outgrown the concept of personal status updates. Twitter helps you share and discover what’s happening now among all the things, people, and events you care about. “What are you doing?” isn’t the right question anymore—starting today, we’ve shortened it by two characters. Twitter now asks, “What’s happening?”

It’s reminiscent of when Facebook changed its prompt this spring from “What are you doing right now?” to “What’s on your mind?”

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