Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand has defended his use of Twitter and has vowed to continue using the social networking site.

Ferdinand is reportedly under investigation by the Football Association after re-tweeting a controversial comment from another user about Chelsea defender Ashley Cole.

But the 33-year-old said: "I treat it (Twitter) as fun. I don't take it too seriously, to be honest.

"Twitter is something that lets fans get a bit closer to you by letting them see you do everyday things - just giving them a glimpse of what you get up to.

"I would love to have been able to be close to people like John Barnes, Gazza and Paul Ince when I was a kid.

"When I first started doing it, they (Ferdinand's team-mates) were all caning me, saying 'What are you doing that for?'. But then they see there's some benefit in doing it.

"You have Liverpool fans, Manchester City fans, obviously now Chelsea fans, who seem to follow me and come on there just to abuse me but that kind of stuff is like fuel.

"You use that stuff so that, when you play their team, there's even a little bit more rivalry about the game, that type of thing."

Meanwhile, Ferdinand insists he will not retire from international football despite being overlooked by England for Euro 2012.

Roy Hodgson controversially selected John Terry instead, despite the Chelsea defender facing a racial abuse charge against Ferdinand's brother Anton - from which he was subsequently acquitted.

Although Ferdinand acknowledges he is unlikely to figure for England again, he will not be making himself unavailable.

"I said that if I was not playing in the summer, I did not see myself playing in the future," he told The Sun.

"But I would never retire from international football. I will always be available but my main focus is playing for Manchester United.

"I won't be miffed if I'm not in the England squad because I don't see myself being part of it anymore.

"It's gone, this is a new season, that has happened.

"The Euros is finished, England played the way they did and the tournament has finished."

Ferdinand also admits he would have relished the opportunity to represent Team GB as an over-age player in the Olympics.

Stuart Pearce included Ferdinand on the initial long-list of players but eventually opted for Micah Richards, Ryan Giggs and Craig Bellamy as his over-age choices.

Asked if he would like to have been included, Ferdinand replied: "Yeah, of course I would. Definitely, 100 per cent.

"It's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and I said that to Tom Cleverley when he was named in the squad.

"Anyone would love to be involved and you would be stupid to say no to the chance."

Although Ferdinand is disappointed to have missed out on international honours this summer, he feels it could prove to be a positive for his career - and Manchester United.

"In past summers I always played with England so this is new for me," he added.

"Hopefully I am refreshed and have no injuries or wear and tear. In terms of my United career it could turn out to be a blessing in disguise."