Twitter has become the tool of choice in a crisis. Reporters and law enforcement use it to broadcast updates. Organizations use it to show how they are dealing with a crisis. Sources use it show bad behavior.
Hashtags, which make tweets easier to find, are a major reason for Twitter's emergence as a critical crisis communications channel. Now Twitter's ability to convey images and video adds to its utility and power.
A less obvious advantage is that Twitter is a perfect companion for people with a smartphone that can capture and publish information in real-time. That advantage becomes a necessity in environments, such as the riots in Ferguson, Missouri following the police shooting of an unarmed black youth, when cameras are banned.