Used by hundreds of millions of people who want to communicate in short bursts of information, Twitter can be useful for those trying to keep track of breaking news, business trends, celebrity gossip or simply as a way to stay in touch with friends.
But it can also turn into an arena for very public personal attacks - such as those involving two alpha-businessmen, the billionaire presidential candidate Donald Trump and the bad-boy venture capitalist Marc Andreessen.
In recent days Andreessen, the 44-year-old inventor, investor, Facebook board member and entrepreneur who made his fortune and reputation as a software and web browser pioneer, has targeted The Donald on a variety of fronts, using Twitter as his weapon of choice.
More on Donald Trump's hooker-running immigrant grandpappy: http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2015/08/the-man-who-made-trump-who-he-is-121647 ...
Andreessen also took the Republican presidential candidate to task after Trump described himself has having an "instinct" for sensing national security threats:
Be honest, this kind of makes you miss George W, doesn't it? http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/wireStory/trump-closing-mosques-35232234 ...
Andreessen knows Twitter is a great way to not only pick a fight with Trump, but to ensure the U.S. media has a ring-side seat. Earlier this year, Andreessen told The New Yorker he loves Twitter -- he has around 441,000 followers -- because "reporters are obsessed with it. It's like a tube and I have loudspeakers installed in every reporting cubicle around the world."
The tech website re/code, meanwhile, points out that while Andreessen was a supporter of GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney in 2012, he has yet to announce his favorites for the 2016 race.
Donald Trump, hardly a shrinking violet when it comes to mean tweets, has not responded publicly to Andreessen's jabs. For the moment, he seems content to use his own Twitter feed to attack media outlets and especially other Republican presidential candidates, like Ohio Governor John Kasich:
Going to Ohio, home of one of the worst presidential candidates in history--Kasich. Can't debate, loves #ObamaCare--dummy!
Trump's Twitter feed currently has around five million followers. And while that's not anywhere near the numbers garnered by entertainer and current Twitter queen Katy Perry, who has over 78 million followers, it's still enough to put Trump in the social network's top 500 rankings.