Twitter

Twitter is a social networking website that's designed for finding and sharing short updates. Twitter has often been used to spread breaking news quickly - at times, it's even faster than traditional media outlets at spreading groundbreaking information quickly.

Quick Facts

Summary

  • Ranked #4th worldwide
  • Active users 330 M
  • Type Social networks
  • Launched date Mar 21, 2006
  • Employees 4,600
  • Headquarters Market Square, San Francisco, California, U.S.
  • Parent company None

Founders

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Jack Dorsey Missouri
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Noah Glass
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Biz Stone
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Evan Williams

Networks

  • Brand value In 2020 N/A
  • Revenue in 2020 $3.72 b
  • Net loss In 2020 $1.14 b

Data Graphs

personvia Statista.com

The Hack

The HackTwitter accounts suspected of Bitcoin scam hacked.. (via bbc.com)

On Jul 15, 2020, reportedly 130 high-profile Twitter accounts, both verified and unverified ones such as Elon Musk, Joe Biden, Jeff Bezos, Michael Bloomberg, Kim Kardashian West và Bill Gates were compromised by outside parties to promote a bitcoin scam.

Within minutes from the initial tweets, 12 bitcoins from over 320 transactions had already taken place on one of the wallet addresses, and bitcoin to a value of more than US$118,000.

Hackers orchestrated a series of social engineering attacks against Twitter staff that had access to the internal administrative tools that Twitter can use to recover and reset accounts.

Three individuals were arrested by authorities on Jul 31, 2020 and charged with wire fraud, money laundering, identity theft, and unauthorized computer access related to the scam.

The Coronavirus

The CoronavirusThe Coronavirus. (via Getty Images)

As the novel coronavirus spread globally, leaders hunkered down at home, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau who went into self-isolation after his wife tested positive for COVID-19.

In Jan 2020, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif congratulated the Chinese government for its “timely and decisive response, and the unanimous unity of the entire country, in the fight against the new coronavirus infection pneumonia epidemic.”

On Mar 6, 2020, As the death toll of the pandemic was rising especially in Italy, Pope Francis prayed for those suffering from the coronavirus as well as the healthcare workers and the authorities trying to contain the spread of the virus.

The Irish government, the EU Commission, India’s Press and Information Bureau, and the Vietnam Foreign Ministry have also updated their Twitter covers spreading health and safety advice on top of their profiles.

Original Idea

original ideaoriginal idea

Jack Dorsey (@Jack), then an undergraduate student at New York University, introduced the idea of an individual using an SMS service to communicate with a small group. The original project code name for the service was twttr, inspired by Flickr and the five-character length of American SMS shortcodes.

The decision was also partly because the domain twitter.com was already in use, and it was six months after the launch of “twttr” that the crew purchased the domain and changed the name of the service to Twitter.

The developers initially considered "10958" as a short code, but later changed it to "40404" for "ease of use and memorability".

On Mar 21, 2006, when Jack Dorsey published the first Twitter message: "just setting up my twttr", has sold his first-ever tweet for more than $2.9M, donating the money to a charity battling Covid-19 in Africa.

Brief History

2004
Nov Odeo, Twitter's parent company, started.
2005
Feb Odeo's podcasting service was released.
Dec Evan Williams hired Dorsey to work at Odeo.
2006
Mar Twitter was launched and Jack Dorsey sent the first tweet.

The idea for the name was attributed to Noah Glass.

Twitter is officially set up and Jack Dorsey sends the first tweet.

The original logo was launched.

Jul The full version was introduced.
Aug Twitter users tweet about a mild earthquake in California.
Sep Twitter attempted to have a grand launch at the Love Parade.
Oct Biz Stone, Evan Williams, Dorsey, and other members of Odeo, formed Obvious Corporation and acquired Odeo.
2007
Mar Twitter was first introduced to the masses at South by Southwest Interactive (SXSW).
Apr Twitter spins off into its own company.
Jun The first round of funding by Fred Wilson of Union Square Ventures, raising $5M/ valuation of $20M.
Aug The hashtag (#) was proposed by Chris Messina.
2008
Jun A second round of funding by Bijan Sabet of Spark Capital and Jeff Bezos of Bezos Expeditions, raising $15M/ valuation of $80M.
Oct Jack Dorsey stepped down, and Evan Williams took over as CEO.
2009
Feb A third round of funding by Peter Fenton of Benchmark Capital and Todd Chaffee of Institutional Venture Partners, raising $35M/ valuation of $285M.
Apr Ashton Kutcher and Evan Williams talked on Twitter with Oprah Winfrey.

Founder of Twitter, WordPress sent to save Iraq.

Biz Stone and Evan Williams are included in the Time 100.

Jun Launched the beta version of their "Verified Accounts" service.
Nov Changed "What's your status" to "What's happening."
2010
Jan First NASA astronaut T. J. Creamer to send live Tweets from space hosts tweetup.
Apr Twitter started rolling out advertising.

FAcquired Tweetie developer Atebits.

Oct Evan Williams steps down as CEO, and Dick Costolo takes over.
2011
Apr The new homepage was reintroduced.
Jul Acquired BackType, a real-time social analytics platform.

President Obama hosted a Twitter town hall.

Sep Series G round: raising $800M/ valuation of $8B.

100M users.

Dec Introducing a new version of Twitter.

Launched the Home tab, the Connect and Discover tabs.

2012
Feb Partners with Yandex, a Russian search engine.
Mar Twitter 6th Anniversary: 140M active users, with over 340M Tweets per day.
Apr Opening an office in Detroit, and Dublin.
Jul 500M users, 140M in the U.S.
Oct Acquired Vine, a video clip company.
Dec 200M monthly active users.
2013
Apr Launched a music app called Twitter Music.
Aug Acquired Trendrr, a real-time social data company.
Sep Acquired MoPub, a mobile-focused advertising company.
Nov Twitter began trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

The opening price values Twitter at $31B.

Oct Released an 800-page prospectus in preparation for the IPO.
2014
Jun Acquired SnappyTV, a live video platform.

Acquired TapCommerce, a mobile ad technology company.

Jul Acquired Mitro, a password security startup.
Nov Twitter announces an instant timeline.
Dec Twitter rolled out new anti-harassment tools.
2015
Jan Acquired ZipDial, an Indian start-up.

Launched “While You Were Away” feature.

Feb Acquired Niche, an ad network for social media stars.

Introducing TweetDeck Teams feature.

Mar Acquired Periscope, a live video streaming startup.

Launched the "Quality Filter" feature.

Launched Curator tool.

Apr Acquired TenXer, a collaboration platform for developers and engineers.

Acquired with $532M in stock TellApart, an ad technology company.

Twitter stock price falls 18%.

May Google adds tweets to its mobile search results.
Jun Dick Costolo steps down as CEO, and Jack Dorsey takes over.

Acquired Whetlab, a machine learning startup.

Sep Expanded ‘Buy’ buttons to Bigcommerce, Demandware, and Shopify.
Oct Twitter debuts Moments feature.

Omid Kordestani left Google and became Executive Chairman at Twitter.

Nov Replaced the star-shaped “favourite” icon with a heart-shaped “like” button.

Launched a political transparency page.

2016
May Twitter gave users more room to tweet; photos and video won’t count to a 140-character limit.
Jun Acquired Magic Pony Technology, a London-based AI startup.

Launched tags to location feed with Foursquare.

Oct The issue kept some users on the East Coast from accessing Twitter, Reddit, GitHub, Spotify, and other sites.

Cutting 9 percent of its staff, or roughly 350 people.

Discontinued the Vine app.

Nov Rishi Jaitly, Twitter's head of India, quitted the company.

Adam Bain, Twitter's COO, quitted the company.

Dec Acquired Yes, Inc., a Palo Alto-based startup.

Adam Messinger, Twitter's chief technology officer, quitted the company.

McFarland, a vice president of product, quitted the company.

2017
Jan The Twitter Dashboard shut down.

Twitter sold Fabric mobile developer platform to Google.

Launched a Vine archive.

Launched the 'Explore' tab to replace 'Moments'.

Released two national security letters.

2018
Sep Jack Dorsey testified before the U.S. Senate.
Nov Expanded from 140 to 280-word count.
2019
Jun Eradicated thousands of fraudulent accounts tied to Iran and Russia.
2020
Jun Twitter deactivated its legacy (2014) website layout.
Nov Launched the Fleets feature.
Dec Launched Spaces.
2021
Jan Acquired Revue, an email newsletter service.
Feb Launched the Super Follows feature, a subscription service.

Network Features

User Profiles

User ProfilesJeff Bezos’s Twitter Profile. (via twitter.com)

New users can update personal information (name, biography, place of living, or personal website and profile picture). Your Twitter profile is where you and others can see your tweets, replies, media, and likes, as well as details about your Twitter account.

A Tweet

A TweetDonald Trump’s tweet. (via twitter.com)

A Tweet is a status update on Twitter that is broadcast to other users. Limited to 140 characters or less, including spaces, and can include URLs and hashtags, tweets can express how users are feeling, what they're doing, and anything.

A Retweet is a re-posting of a Tweet. Twitter's Retweet feature helps you and others quickly share that Tweet with all of your followers. You can Retweet your Tweets or Tweets from someone else. Sometimes people type "RT" at the beginning of a Tweet to indicate that they are reposting someone else's content.

Explore

ExploreTwitter Explore page. (via twitter.com)

Explore is the search bar for information that appears on Twitter. You can use the syntax to prompt someone with the syntax @name, @page, or the hashtag #keywords. This is where Twitter shows you what's happening, right now.

Direct Messenger

Direct messages let you send your contacts private notes through Twitter which are limited to 140 characters. A group message can include up to 50 people. In addition to text, you can include a photo, video, or GIF via Direct Message.

Trending

On Twitter, a word, phrase, or topic that is mentioned at a greater rate than others is said to be a "trending topic" or simply a "trend".

Trending topics are those topics being discussed more than others.

Trending topics are accompanied by hashtags that allow to easily find all the tweets and conversations by users around that topic. These topics help Twitter and its users to understand what is happening in the world and what people's opinions are about it.

Notifications

Notifications are updates and information, alerting you to what's happening on Twitter.

You can view your notifications in two ways: All shows you notifications for account activity like new followers, Retweets, mentions, and likes. Mentions show you notifications only for Tweets that mention your username.

Bookmarks

Bookmarks are a useful way to save information, the bookmarking is done privately, and the data isn’t shared with anyone. Bookmarking tweets on Twitter lets you keep them for later so you can comment or review them at a more convenient time. When you bookmark a tweet, it shows up in the Twitter Bookmarks section.

Twitter Moments is a collection of your tweets or other users that you can collect on your profile. With Twitter Moments, you’ll create interesting Twitter stories that you can’t do on the app’s timeline.

Lists:

A Twitter List is a curated group of accounts.

Public Lists: These lists can be seen by anyone, and anyone can follow them.

Private Lists: Only the creator of private lists will be able to see or subscribe to them.

Twitter Ads

Promoted Trends put a sponsored topic and hashtag at the top of Twitter’s “trending topics” box. Promoted Trends allow you to promote a hashtag at the top of that list.

Promoted Accounts introduce your Twitter account to users who are most likely to be interested in your business and products, enabling you to expand your community of followers.

Promoted Tweets are tweets that advertisers put money behind to reach a wider audience or spark more engagement with existing followers.

Twitter Topics is a Twitter setting that allows users to select and follow trends they're interested in from a list of Topics. Once a user follows a Topic, more news and tweets related to it will start showing up in their regular Twitter feed.



Twitter Newsletters is a new tool that lets you design, schedule and publish newsletters. Once you've published a Twitter newsletter, you can share it on social media, and decide whether you'd like to charge readers money for it.

Twitter Analytics is a built-in data-tracking platform that shows you insights specific to your Twitter account and activity. Twitter compiles an easy-to-understand summary showing metrics like Tweet impressions, mentions, profile visits, top follower, top mention, top tweet, and top follower.

Fleets: A user can add text, pictures, and videos in a fleet, which will disappear after 24 hours. Fleets will appear at the top of Twitter account pages and visible to followers (but Fleets don't show up in the timeline).

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