Happy Birthday, Twitter!
The 140-character ‘microblog’ that many love to hate, and make fun of, turns five this year, from the ‘first tweet’ on March 21, 2006, to the public launch in July of that year.
In recognition of the 5th anniversary, Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey’s tweeting the origins of Twitter over a several-week period; you can follow him via @jack, and use the hashtag #5yrs to share your own favorite tweets from Twitter’s first half-decade.
Twitter has become much more than online ‘watercooler’ chit-chat; it’s transforming communication in many ways, such as how we connect with each other, and how we are exposed to, and participate in, breaking news events; here’s a great article from ZDNet.com about the mobilization of breaking news.
Despite trepidation by some, the equine community on Twitter is growing by the day as more people sign up and begin to integrate their Twitter accounts with Facebook, other social media, and for horsebiz accounts, their traditional marketing methods.
Last week I was asked to give a presentation on Twitter at a meeting in Lexington; with the five year anniversary upon us, I thought it made sense to take a look back to see how we got to this place via the Twitter Timeline below; today’s the perfect day to share it with you, on the 5th anniversary of the first tweet.
2007 – SXSW festival – created a ‘tipping point’ with many influential buzz-makers
- Large screens streaming tweets exclusively
- Attendees kept in touch via tweets
- During event, tweets increased from 20k per day to 60k per day
- Twitter received SXSW Web Award that year
- From Feb 2008 to Feb 2009, Twitter had 1,382% growth (475,000 visitors to 7 million) – Facebook had a 228% increase during that same time
- Nielsen organization ranked Twitter as fastest growing site in Member Communities category in March 2009
- Trending Topics sidebar and Search bar added
- Twitter ‘Lists’ feature added
- Verified Accounts added – confirms that celebrities are authentic
- Changed the Twitter questions from ‘What are you doing?’ to ‘What’s happening?’
- Twitter servers crashed when Michael Jackson died – over 100k tweets per hour had the words ‘Michael Jackson’ in them
- 3rd party Twitter applications and services have a seamless interface through OAuth which confirms, so logins are no longer necessary – only clicking one ‘permission’ button when access is requested
- ‘New Twitter’ revamped version rolled out in Fall of 2010
- Entertainment Weekly put Twitter on its ‘end of the decade’ Best Of list
2010 TIME magazine
- Included Twitter in its formula for determining their 100 Most Influential People list in 2010
- The formula was: (Twitter followers) x 2 + (facebook connections) divided by 2
2011 Twitter use
- Usage spikes during & following news events, such as the Egyptian & Middle East revolutions
- News of events often breaks first on Twitter before it hits mainstream media
- Charlie Sheen signed up for a Twitter account, and within a week he had 2 MILLION followers, a new record
Please note, much of the information in the Twitter Timeline summary is from Wikipedia’s ‘Twitter’ page; if you’re interested in reading up on Twitter, I recommend it!
I personally fell in love with Twitter from the moment I signed up (which was March 24, 2009). I love the immediate connection I can have with like-minded people, the cross-boundaries connections, and the ability to share interests and resources. I encourage you to give it a try.
Want to see the very first tweet? This article from The Atlantic shows Jack Dorsey’s first message to coworkers.
Love Twitter? Hate it? Let me know what you think via the Leave a Comment link below.