Evolution of Twitter
Also read: Amazing and interesting facts about Twitter on SpinFold
Advancement in the technology has taken the world by storm. One of the revolutionary and life-changing invention was the introduction of one of the social networking sites – Twitter – with other being the Facebook. Twitter is an accomplished micro blogging service that allows the user to send and read messages, including multimedia. The one constraint on the messages – referred to as “Tweets” – is that they are limited upto 140 characters. The service was developed in March 2006 by Jack Dorsey and was launched globally in July 2006. Since then the company has attained popularity very rapidly and has seen the surge in the number of users. Because of its simplicity, Twitter service has attracted large number of users mainly celebrities around the globe. Any user – either registered or unregistered – can view the tweets of other persons but to post the tweet the user must be registered with the website. In brief, Twitter can be called as “SMS of the Internet”.
The headquarters of the company are located at San Francisco.
Twitter has undergone many changes since its inception with many features being included regularly. Now let us see the important milestones in the history of Twitter year-by-year.
Jack Dorsey’s idea of Group SMS Service was the driving force behind the development of Twitter service. The process of development of this service started on March 21,2006 when Dorsey tweeted “just setting up my twttr”.
In the same year and in the month of July, Twitter was unveiled globally and was available to use. Later in July, Biz Stone, co-founder of Twitter, explained the concept of Twitter and how it works in a hilarious video.
In 2007, Twitter service started its own company. A major break through for Twitter came in this year during South by Southwest Interactive (SXSWi) conference. The popularity of this service was rocketing up when the usage of its service jumped from 20,000 tweets to 60,000 tweets.
The year 2008 was instrumental for the growth of the company as the Twitter service passed 1 Billion tweets mark during this year.
In June 2008, Verified Accounts feature was launched. Making use of some verification program Twitter verified the accounts of celebrities and other business personalities. This program was launched to make sure that the user follow the celebrity accounts created by the celebrity themselves. The symbol for the verified account is a “Blue Tick Mark” beside the name of the account.
In 2009, Twitter completed its 3 years of service. The company’s popularity was at an all time high and during prominent events it goes one step above.
During this year in July, Twitter achieved a spot in one of the most respected English Dictionary- Collins English Dictionary – with the word defined as noun and verb.
In September, the picture of a bird was made the default avatar.
In Late 2009, “Twitter Lists” feature was added to enable the user follow the list of authors or accounts instead of individual one.
By October, 5 Billion messages were tweeted by the user which is a significant landmark.
The defining moment of Twitter came in 2010 when NASA astronaut T. J. Creamer tweeted live from International Space Station.
The rate of tweeting has gone upto 50 million tweets per day.
In 2010, taking the advantage of commercialization Twitter launched its advertising platform – Promoted Tweets.
On March 30 2010, it was announced that the hottest Twitter trending topics would be displayed on the Twitter Homepage.
During FIFA World Cup 2010, a major record was set on June 14th 2010 when fans were tweeting 2,940 tweets per second. This was overhauled during NBA Finals 2010 when a record 3,085 tweets were tweeted per second.
In 2010, Twitter extended its service to mobiles by releasing an application called “Twitter” – its Official Twitter Client – for iPhone, iPad and Mac.
The Search option was enhanced and a new section – “Suggestions for You” – was added which suggests the user the accounts to follow in different fields.
The new “Tweet Button” was launched which enables the web publisher to count the number of retweets and helps in sharing the web content.
Between August 2009 and August 2010, there was a humongous soar in the number of unique visitors to Twitter website – with the number rising 76% to 96 million unique visitors.
In October 2010, the interface of the Official website of Twitter was completely enhanced and modified with the multimedia content now embedded in the stream itself i.e., the multimedia content present in the tweet can be viewed by the user without leaving twitter just by clicking tweet itself. This was implemented with the help of links to images and videos from supported websites such as YouTube and Flickr.
The year 2011 witnessed the return of Jack Dorsey as Executive Chairman.
The homepage of the Twitter website was revamped again and the local trends feature was expanded to 70 more cities and countries. In addition to Home tab, Connect and Discover tabs were also added. Connect tab displays all the mentions and replies to the user whereas the Discover tab displays the tweets tailored for the user.
On March 21st 2012, Twitter announced that it has 140 million users and sees 340 million tweets per day.
On October 5 2012, Twitter acquired a video clip company called Vine. In January 2013, Vine was launched as a standalone application by Twitter. The app allows the user to create a six second video clip and share it on twitter which will be visible directly on user’s Twitter feeds.
In December 2012, Twitter announced that it had crossed 200 million monthly active users.
Evolution of Twitter’s Logo
Originally, Twitter’s logo was just the name of the company in blue color. This was in use from its launch until September 2010. The successor of the original logo was launched in September 2010 and was just the modified version of its predecessor. The logo was the name of the company in black color followed by a picture of bird. This was used till June 2012. Later the completely redesigned logo was launched on June 5 2012. It just had the picture of a bird which resembles the Mountain Bluebird and the logo was named as “Twitter Bird”. This logo is presently in use.
When Twitter experiences breakdown, users see the “Fail Whale” error message image with a caption “Too many tweets! Please wait a moment and try again”. The outages are very rare and mostly occur during prominent events.
Some of the instances are:
- June 25 2009: When Michael Jackson passed away on this date, record number of people were posting their messages with the word “Michael Jackson” included in it at a rate of 100,000 tweets per hour. This led to the crashing of Twitter servers. However, the servers were restored almost immediately.
- August 6 2009: Twitter suffered from a Denial-of-service attack and the website was offline for several hours.
- June-July 2010: During FIFA World Cup 2010, servers were down on many occasions.
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