Ashton Kutcher vs. CNN leaves Oprah atwitter

Fri Apr 17, 2009 6:19pm EDT
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By Alex Dobuzinskis

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A week of Twitter mania culminated on Friday with actor Ashton Kutcher winning a popularity contest against cable news giant CNN on the Web platform and Oprah Winfrey sending her first "tweet."

Even though Twitter mystifies many people, its celebrity appeal has generated interest. This week, "What Happens in Vegas" star Kutcher added to the buzz by challenging CNN to be the first Twitter user with 1 million followers.

Kutcher crossed that mark on Friday, beating CNN's breaking news Twitter feed by a beak, as the cable channel attracted its millionth follower 30 minutes later.

On Friday, Twitterati everywhere held their breath as the influential Winfrey sent her first message using the system. "Feeling really 21st century," she wrote.

Twitter is an Internet-based tool that allows individuals or organizations to send short messages to computer screens and mobile devices, alerting followers about anything from breaking news to the sender's sometimes mundane activities.

"It definitely has its detractors," said Karen North, director of the University of Southern California's Annenberg program on online communities.

"The detractors are the people who think it's just ridiculous that people are saying things like, 'I just ate a taco,'" North said.


<p>Actor Ashton Kutcher attends an event to promote his film "What Happens In Vegas" in Tokyo in this August 6, 2008 file photo. REUTERS/Yuriko Nakao/Files</p>