Malaysians have found a notable new way to use Twitter to connect and enrich their everyday lives. With many people prevented from moving about as usual through the country, many are unable to visit their preferred pasar malam and other vendors for goods that they need or want. The vast majority of the pasar malam operating in Kuala Lumpur alone are unable to reopen in the near future.
While many Malaysian small business owners already use Twitter to connect with customers and sell their wares, Twitter has seen the rise of Twitter pasar malams. Small business owners are coming together as communities and using Twitter in place of their physical marketplaces to keep their home businesses functioning despite adversity.
How these pasar malam work:
1. People on Twitter – most often small business owners and other pasar malam participants – post a Tweet on Twitter asking for participation in their Twitter “thread pasar malam”.
2. As people see the Tweet, they Like and Retweet it, helping other small business owners find the Tweet, bringing together all of the different parts of a pasar malam.
· Other pasar malam participants Reply to the Tweet with their own information about what they sell.
· People who are missing pasar malams can scroll through the Tweet, Replies, and Retweets, and can find the goods that they are looking for.
3. As people continue to engage with the Tweet, more people see the pasar malams, join in, or even start up new treads to help publicise more of their favorite vendors.
4. In some instances, we see small business owners exchanging encouragement and supportive Tweets with other pasar malam participants, since they know that business may be tough during this time.
5. At the end of the day, pasar malam vendors are able to sell their wares, even if they may be unable to open their physical storefront, and pasar malam patrons are able to purchase the goods they need to observe Ramadan how they’d like to.
Through it all, Twitter is able to help Malaysians to support one another and to get some of their favorite things–but most importantly, to regain some sense of normalcy during these momentous times.