It never ceases to amaze me when someone tells me that they don't get the point of Twitter. Networks don't really get much more social than this, with the bite-sized nature of tweets and the near-instantaneous responses making interactions feel almost like an actual conversation that can be had with practically anyone on the planet with an Internet connection. One of the biggest celebrities in the world recently got in on the chatter, and the Twitterverse definitely had a lot to say in return.


Jay-Z made a surprise appearance on Twitter, responding to fans' questions and upping not only his own stats, but the stats of anyone he touched. His follower count increased by over 46K in less than 24 hours, 15 times the normal amount. The hashtag #MCHG—for Magna Carta Holy Grail, of course—was already the number two trending topic by 10 am, and there were 325K mentions of the new album within 24 hours as well. Tweets came in from all around the world, from such far off locations as Thailand, Argentina, Germany, and South Africa. Followers who were lucky enough to get a response also benefited from the exchange, with some of Jay's replies getting thousands of retweets each.

So what did Mr. Carter have to say? Hov waxed poetic on a number of different topics, from his favorite Michael Jackson and Britney Spears songs, to advice for independent artists, and of course about his new Magna Carta Holy Grail project.

I suspect that the Miley love is a joke that's flying over her head, but what do I know? Hov was also refreshingly candid, sharing his thoughts on Brooklyn gentrification, personal growth, and what brings him peace. Oh, and Twitter has proclaimed the death of ‘LOL’, to be replaced by the #mylaugh hashtag that Jay has been using in his tweets, a nod to his signature cackle, which also became a trending topic. 

Whether Jay-Z’s impromptu Twitter display was his attempt to further ingratiate himself into the hearts of his fans or into their wallets is still up for debate. Just last month, Mr. Carter declared a self-imposed Twitter hiatus, vowing not to be seen or heard from again on the social network until at least 2014—he only tweets a few times a year anyway, so that wasn't saying much! The timing is questionable, but I think the outcome would have been the same no matter what – Hov’s legion of fans responded just as expected with the outpouring of support due any high-profile celebrity. I’m still waiting for him to respond to my tweet though…#jussayin

Follow tech-life expert Stephanie Humphrey on Twitter.