Comedian Ricky Gervais has been speaking to the Radio Times about why he uses Twitter.
Gervais first joined Twitter in December 2009 before quitting a few weeks later.
“If I want to tell a friend, famous or otherwise what I had to eat this morning, I’ll text them,” he said at the time. “And since I don’t need to make new virtual friends, it seemed a bit pointless to be honest.”
He returned in September 2011 and has been a prolific user of the network ever since. With more than six million followers, Gervais uses the platform to raise awareness of animal rights issues (a topic that is very close to his heart), promote his work and have fun with his “twonks”.
“I like it for many different reasons,” says Gervais. “I do it for a laugh for one thing. Sometimes I do it because I am bored. If I am in a taxi I say ‘I am on the way to the airport, I have got 20 minutes any questions’? It’s the equivalent of reading a beer mat twenty times when you are waiting for someone in a pub.”
“With Twitter you are never alone. I like it. There are bad things on there and awful people on there and there are idiots. But there are idiots on the high street and we have to go there. I reckon I see two idiots a week and I have got 6 million people and you can ignore them. Block and they are gone.”
Gervais also outlines Twitter’s value as a marketing tool.
“Of course I want to tell six million people about a show or a DVD or get the story right, and say ‘no guys I didn’t say that’. It’s nice to own a piece of the media. It’s a nice experiment. You try stuff out. You put stuff there and you know from six million people will see it. It also helps with gags because it gets to the essence. If you can make something work to 140 characters you are deconstructing it to a point where you know it from all angles. Comedy is about language after all.
“It’s also fantastic for animal welfare things. I just did one for the illegal dog trade in Thailand and it got a million signatures. That’s the power of social media.”
(Source: Radio Times.)