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The History of the Social Giant Twitter

Note: see our other articles from social media history series: Before Social Media – The History of Social Media Series, The Rise of Media Sharing – History of Social Media, The Advancement of Social Media, The History of Facebook, and the History of the Internet

Twitter has grown into one of the most popular and busy social media sites on the internet. With about 200 million registered users, it has grown at an exceptionally fast pace. The short-style messages were not a user favorite in the beginning but now they’re seen as an extremely valuable way to share information and keep up to date with the latest news. Twitter has caused a revolution for real time updates and leaders in the search industry often use it as the main way to share something interesting.

Twitter launched in 2006 and I don’t think anybody knew exactly what was going on with the site at the time. Personally I did not see any value in Twitter at first, but that was because I didn’t know exactly what the site could do. The user database grew at a slow rate for the first four years but that all changed in 2010. From April 2009 to April 2010 the Twitter user count grew from six million to 105 million. By September 2010 there were 145 million users and in September 2011 it reached the 200 million registered user mark. At least half of these registered users log in once a month and at least 50 million users, including me, login every single day.

Twitter started taking note when certain topics drew so much attention that they needed a collective name with which to identify them. Along came Twitter Trends, which is now something you’re likely to encounter every day. You can quickly see what is trending on Twitter because a lot of the people you follow will be tweeting the same thing. A record breaking trend was when Beyonce announced her pregnancy at the VMAs this year. There were 8868 tweets per second about this great news. Other things that went big on Twitter were the FIFA woman’s world cup when Japan defeated the US, which got 7196 tweets per second, and Michael Jackson’s death, which led to 456 tweets per second.

The most followed people on Twitter are of course, celebs. Lady Gaga is leading with 13, 8 million followers while Justin Bieber comes in second with 12, 8 million followers. There was uncertainty around following a celebrity in the early days as there were plenty of spammers impersonating the real deal. Twitter brought out the verified accounts function which made it much easier to identify whether the person you’re following is legit, or a fake who wishes they were famous. Of course most of these celebs have a PA that actually updates their tweets and keeps track of what people have to say, which makes it much easier to manage.

Other interesting facts about Twitter

Most Twitter users are English speaking, which is evident by the high number of tweets that are in English – exactly 61%. More than 80% of users follow less than 100 people – they try to keep it mostly industry related so that they don’t get any random tweets from people they don’t care much about. Most men on Twitter are business orientated while most females keep friends and family updated with what they are currently doing. The most interesting fact that came to me was that only 5% of the users on Twitter create 75% of the content on the platform. This means that while plenty of accounts were created, most are being left to die off.

Twitter has changed lots of online lives and made it much more convenient to stay in touch. I use Twitter every day and will continue to use it for as long as it exists. There have been lots of people who have tried to compare Twitter and Facebook but honestly, it’s difficult to compare two social media platforms that offer two very different ways of sharing information.

Darren Vrede is an experienced online content writer who enjoys writing about various topics such as decking, DYI tips, decking installation and greenhouse effects.

Posted in Social Networking. Tags: ,

5 Replies

  1. chizzadd Nov 22nd 2011

    Very nice post, and i really I have to agree with Solicitors Manchester, about Twitter being like a personal RSS feed.

    The post mentions that many account are being left to die off, I imagine this is true for many, but others like myself who have an account, but rarely Tweet, use Twitter to receive news, not to actually post. I think it still has a lot of value for that and I imagine a large amount of Twitter users are “lurkers” like myself.

  2. Your last points really resonated with me, will use it to the best of my ability.

  3. This is a very great source of information about Twitter. A very well made tracking of the history of such a social giant. I’m amazed by how it had gained increasing number and statistical figures. It’s indeed worthy to be called a social giant.

  4. I signed up twitter before two years but didn’t like to use it. But since last six months, i am very much using it coz, i found it very useful social media for all including business. And the verified account facility is awesome which helps us to find the true account of our celebrities or other legends.

  5. Twitter is a great platform for getting updates and creating brand awareness for business.Its simple and useful tool.Twitter is also known as micro blogging platform.

    Thanks for sharing your knowledge with us.


    Amelie Wakelin

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