A famous quotation rightly holds that “Brevity is the soul of wit” – underlining the importance of succinct expressions and carefully chosen words to convey meaningful information. It is this same philosophy that has helped Twitter owing to its 140-character tweet limit, become the social media behemoth it is today.
It seems just like yesterday when Twitter arose and flew right into the hearts of millions worldwide. Now, on the occasion of its seventh anniversary – it’s time to recall those moments and cast a closer look at Twitter’s incredible journey thus far:
Twitter was formulated by entrepreneur Jack Dorsey in March 2006. Earlier, Dorsey hit upon the idea of small groups of people sending short SMS-like messages to one another while he was a New York University student. Slow but steady negotiations with his associates led to Dorsey framing the world’s very first tweet on 21st March 2006 – informing people about his setting up of a service named Twitter. Dorsey contended that the word, connoting a concise bit of information as well as a bird’s chirp, was a perfect reflection of what the service stood for. And he was infinitely correct.
The Growth Years
Rapidly after its launch, Twitter swiftly gained popularity as a micro-blogging website of note with surging membership and countrywide attention. The renowned “South by Southwest Interactive” conference of 2007 was a major catalyst in boosting Twitter’s fame with tweets rising three-fold to 60,000 messages a day during the conference period itself. The subsequent revamp of the web site and the creation of a new logo, the now omnipresent flying bird, were also instrumental in furthering Twitter’s cause.
In a span of few years, Twitter’s influence was felt in virtually every field as described below:
a) Movies: Twitter’s espousal by leading celebrities was inarguably the main factor behind its worldwide success. A lot of credit must go to Ashton Kutcher, who was one of the first dedicated movie star subscribers.
b) Sports: In June of 2010 fans created a 3,085-tweet per second record after the Los Angeles Lakers won the NBA Finals. Subsequent tweets from the FIFA ladies’ soccer world cup final (2011). Incidentally basketball superstar Shaquille O’Neal was an early Twitter subscriber.
c) Music: Britney Spears heralded Twitter’s rise on the music front. Later, Michael Jackson’s tragic demise provoked mournful fans to generate a staggering 100 thousand tweets per second – inevitably leading to the Twitter server temporarily crashing.
d) Space Exploration: A unique outer-space tweet was sent by NASA cosmonaut T. J. Creamer in 2010 from onboard the International Space Station.
e) Events and Politics: Twitter played a conspicuous part in relaying public sentiments during occasions like Iran’s political upheaval in 2009, Haiti’s devastating earthquake in 2010, and Egypt’s countrywide uprising in 2011.
Twitter’s Current Position
The ensuing figures will confirm Twitter’s clout and popularity:
a) Currently the micro-blogging networking site has over 200 million dedicated subscribers tweeting an amazing 400 million messages daily.
b) Alexa, the noted online traffic expert, recently rated Twitter as one of the world’s top ten frequented portals.
c) The portal has raised sufficient finances since its inception with noteworthy contributions from Digital Sky Technologies and Saudi Arabian magnate Alwaleed bin Talal. Twitter’s contemporary market value is believed to be nearly 9 billion dollars.
d) Earning from Twitter advertisements are slated to touch 808 million dollars by 2014.
e) Currently Justin Bieber, with around 36 million followers, leads the Twitter popularity brigade with Lady Gaga and Kate Perry following closely behind.
Notable Modern-Day Messages
a) President Barack Obama’s 2012 re-election message spawned a record number of retweets – close to 600 thousand.
b) Pope Benedict sent an introductory tweet in December 2012; this tradition was repeated by his successor, the recently anointed Pope Francis.
Leading analysts concur that the portal is veritably a gigantic public square fostering heightened, real-time interaction and exchange of views. Indubitably, Twitter will continue to wield tremendous authority in the years to come.