2006–2007: Creation and initial reactionTwitter's origins lie in a "daylong brainstorming session" held by board members of the ing company . , then an undergraduate student at , introduced the idea of an individual using an SMS service to communicate with a small group. The original for the service was twttr, an idea that Williams later ascribed to Noah Glass, inspired by and the five-character length of American SMS s. The decision was also partly due to the fact that 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". Work on the project started on March 21, 2006, when Dorsey published the first Twitter message at 9:50 p.m. PST ( UTC−08:00): "just setting up my twttr". Dorsey has explained the origin of the "Twitter" title:
...we came across the word "twitter", and it was just perfect. The definition was "a short burst of inconsequential information", and "chirps from birds". And that's exactly what the product was.The first Twitter prototype, developed by Dorsey and contractor Florian Weber, was used as an internal service for Odeo employees. The full version was introduced publicly on July 15, 2006. In October 2006, , Evan Williams, Dorsey, and other members of Odeo formed Obvious Corporation and acquired Odeo, together with its assets—including Odeo.com and Twitter.com—from the investors and shareholders. Williams fired Glass, who was silent about his part in Twitter's startup until 2011. Twitter spun off into its own company in April 2007. Williams provided insight into the ambiguity that defined this early period in a 2013 interview:
With Twitter, it wasn't clear what it was. They called it a social network, they called it microblogging, but it was hard to define, because it didn't replace anything. There was this path of discovery with something like that, where over time you figure out what it is. Twitter actually changed from what we thought it was in the beginning, which we described as status updates and a social utility. It is that, in part, but the insight we eventually came to was Twitter was really more of an information network than it is a social network.
2007–2010The tipping point for Twitter's popularity was the 2007 South by Southwest Interactive (SXSWi) conference. During the event, Twitter usage increased from 20,000 tweets per day to 60,000. "The Twitter people cleverly placed two 60-inch plasma screens in the conference hallways, exclusively streaming Twitter messages," remarked '' ''s . "Hundreds of conference-goers kept tabs on each other via constant twitters. Panelists and speakers mentioned the service, and the bloggers in attendance touted it." Reaction at the conference was highly positive. Blogger Scott Beale said that Twitter was "absolutely ruling" SXSWi. Social software researcher said Twitter was "owning" the conference. Twitter staff received the festival's Web Award prize with the remark "we'd like to thank you in 140 characters or less. And we just did!" The company experienced rapid initial growth. It had 400,000 tweets posted per quarter in 2007. This grew to tweets posted per quarter in 2008. In February 2010, Twitter users were sending tweets per day. By March 2010, the company recorded over 70,000 registered applications. As of June 2010, about tweets were posted each day, equaling about 750 tweets sent each second, according to Twitter. As of March 2011, that was about tweets posted daily. As noted on , Twitter moved up to the third-highest-ranking site in January 2009 from its previous rank of twenty-second. Twitter's usage spikes during prominent events. For example, a record was set during the when fans wrote 2,940 tweets per second in the thirty-second period after scored against on June 14, 2010. The record was broken again when 3,085 tweets per second were posted after the ' victory in the 2010 NBA Finals on June 17, 2010, and then again at the close of Japan's victory over in the World Cup when users published 3,283 tweets per second. The record was set again during the _and_the_United_States_women's_national_soccer_team.html" "title="Japan_women's_national_football_team.html" "title="roup (disambiguation), group of individuals (human or non-human) working together to achieve their goal. As defined by Professor Leigh ...
2010–2014From September through October 2010, the company began rolling out "New Twitter", an entirely revamped edition of twitter.com. Changes included the ability to see pictures and videos without leaving Twitter itself by clicking on individual tweets which contain links to images and clips from a variety of supported websites including and , and a complete overhaul of the interface, which shifted links such as '@mentions' and 'Retweets' above the Twitter stream, while 'Messages' and 'Log Out' became accessible via a black bar at the very top of twitter.com. As of November 1, 2010, the company confirmed that the "New Twitter experience" had been rolled out to all users. In 2019, Twitter was announced to be the 10th most downloaded app of the decade, from 2010 to 2019. On April 5, 2011, Twitter tested a new homepage and phased out the "Old Twitter". However, a glitch came about after the page was launched, so the previous "retro" homepage was still in use until the issues were resolved; the new homepage was reintroduced on April 20. On December 8, 2011, Twitter overhauled its website once more to feature the "Fly" design, which the service says is easier for new users to follow and promotes advertising. In addition to the ''Home'' tab, the ''Connect'' and ''Discover'' tabs were introduced along with a redesigned profile and timeline of Tweets. The site's layout has been compared to that of . On February 21, 2012, it was announced that Twitter and agreed to a partnership. Yandex, a Russian search engine, finds value within the partnership due to Twitter's real time news feeds. Twitter's director of business development explained that it is important to have Twitter content where Twitter users go. On March 21, 2012, Twitter celebrated its sixth birthday while also announcing that it had 140 million users and 340 million tweets per day. The number of users was up 40% from their September 2011 number, which was said to have been at 100 million at the time. In April 2012, Twitter announced that it was opening an office in , with the aim of working with automotive brands and advertising agencies. Twitter also expanded its office in . On June 5, 2012, a modified logo was unveiled through the company blog, removing the text to showcase the slightly redesigned bird as the sole symbol of Twitter. On October 5, 2012, Twitter acquired a video clip company called that launched in January 2013. Twitter released Vine as a standalone app that allows users to create and share six-second looping video clips on January 24, 2013. Vine videos shared on Twitter are visible directly in users' Twitter feeds. Due to an influx of inappropriate content, it is now rated 17+ in Apple's app store. On December 18, 2012, Twitter announced it had surpassed 200 million . Twitter hit 100 million monthly active users in September 2011. On January 28, 2013, Twitter acquired in order to build out its mobile developer products. On April 18, 2013, Twitter launched a music app called Twitter Music for the iPhone. On August 28, 2013, Twitter acquired Trendrr, followed by the acquisition of MoPub on September 9, 2013. As of September 2013, the company's data showed that 200 million users sent over 400 million tweets daily, with nearly 60% of tweets sent from mobile devices.
2014–2019In April 2014, Twitter underwent a redesign that made the site resemble Facebook somewhat, with profile picture and biography in a column left to the timeline, and a full-width header image with effect. That layout was used as main for the desktop front end until July 2019, undergoing changes over time such as removal of shortcut buttons to jump to the previous or next tweet in early 2017, and rounded profile pictures since June 2017. On June 4, 2014, Twitter announced that it would acquire Namo Media, a technology firm specializing in " " for mobile devices. On June 19, 2014, Twitter announced that it had reached an undisclosed deal to buy SnappyTV, a service that helps edit and share video from television broadcasts. The company was helping broadcasters and rights holders to share video content both organically across social and via Twitter's Amplify program. In July 2014, Twitter announced that it intended to buy a young company called CardSpring for an undisclosed sum. CardSpring enabled retailers to offer online shoppers coupons that they could automatically sync to their credit cards in order to receive discounts when they shopped in physical stores. On July 31, 2014, Twitter announced that it had acquired a small password-security startup called Mitro. On October 29, 2014, Twitter announced a new partnership with . The partnership was intended to help businesses use Twitter data to understand their customers, businesses and other trends. On February 11, 2015, Twitter announced that it had acquired Niche, an advertising network for social media stars, founded by Rob Fishman and Darren Lachtman. The acquisition price was reportedly $50 million. On March 13, 2015, Twitter announced its acquisition of , an app that allows live streaming of video. In April 2015, the Twitter.com desktop homepage changed. Twitter announced that it had acquired TellApart, a commerce ads tech firm, with $532 million stock. Later in the year it became apparent that growth had slowed, according to Fortune, Business Insider, Marketing Land and other news websites including Quartz (in 2016). In June 2016, Twitter acquired an startup called Magic Pony for $150 million. Since May 2018, tweet replies deemed by an to be detractive from conversation are initially hidden, and only loaded through actuating a button at the bottom.
2019–presentIn 2019, Twitter redesigned its user interface yet again. This newest "new Twitter" was deployed in "a gradual rollout". On July 15, 2019, Twitter ended support for TLS 1.0 and 1.1 connection. In October 2019, the tweet history of the video game's account was resurrected after appearing deleted during a marketing campaign. This is the only documented occurrence of such resurrection. Twitter saw somewhat dramatic growth in 2020, possibly due to the . During said pandemic, Twitter saw an increased use of the platform for misinformation related to the pandemic. Twitter announced in March 2020 that it would start marking tweets which may contain misleading information, in some cases it will provide links to pages of fact-checking information. A major hack of Twitter on July 15, 2020, affected 130 high-profile accounts, both verified and unverified ones such as , , and ; the hack allowed scammers to send tweets via the compromised accounts that asked the followers to send bitcoin to a given public address, with the promise to double their money. Within a few hours, Twitter disabled tweeting and reset passwords from all verified accounts. Analysis of the event revealed that the scammers had used social engineering to obtain credentials from Twitter employees to access an administration tool used by Twitter to view and change these accounts' personal details as to gain access as part of a " " attempt to make money quickly, with an estimated in bitcoin deposited in various accounts before Twitter intervened. Several law enforcement entities including the FBI launched investigations into the attack to determine the perpetrators over concerns of broader implications of such a hack in the future. On June 1, 2020, Twitter deactivated the legacy desktop front end of their web site that had originally been introduced in 2014, leaving the version which was originally introduced in April 2017 as "Twitter Lite" for mobile phones and used by default since July 2019 as the only option. In November 2020, Twitter announced that it would develop a social audio feature on its platform. Later, In December 2020, Twitter began beta testing its social audio feature known as Spaces with iOS users on their platform. "M2 Mobile Web", the original mobile web front end of Twitter, later served as fallback legacy version to clients without support and incompatible browsers such as s with limited web browsing capability. It was shut down in December 2020. During the and through the 2020 election, misinformation spread by Donald Trump led to Twitter expanding a policy where they added disclaimers to misinformation. Twitter was among the platforms associated with the on January 6, 2021. According to the Associated Press, "federal law enforcement authorities said that there was activity on Twitter, but that they weren't expecting the level of violence they ultimately saw last Wednesday." This led to Trump being suspended from Twitter for glorifying violence, among other reasons such as false allegations of election fraud. According to researcher Shannon McGregor, "Twitter's permanent suspension of Trump's Twitter account is long overdue." However, among conservatives and some European leaders, a degree of controversy ensued over the power held by a private company over speech. Nathan Akehurst of Jacobin Magazine suggested that "Twitter profited from Donald Trump's racist outbursts for years, only to delete his account a few days before his departure". On January 26, 2021, Twitter acquired Revue, an email newsletter service to compete with platforms like . On February 25, 2021, Twitter announced Super Follows, a subscription service allowing content creators to receive payments for their content. In March 2021, Twitter started beta testing Spaces for Android users. On March 5, it was announced that Twitter was working on a feature that would offer users a short window of time to rethink a tweet after they hit send. Twitter confirmed to CNN that it is testing an undo option that could potentially let users correct or even to retract a tweet before it is posted on the site. The feature was discovered by Jane Manchun Wong, an app developer who has a proven track record of uncovering new tools on social networks before they are officially released. Wong posted a GIF on the platform which show a blue "undo" bar that appears under the words "Your Tweet was sent." In 2021, Twitter is advancing an initiative that could be used by any social media platform and would make content moderation more transparent with a more robust appeals process. Called '' Bluesky'', the use of such an open protocol would relieve companies of the sole of content. The Twitter research team that began work on this effort was set up in late 2019. In April 2021, Twitter announced that it was establishing its African headquarters in . On May 3, 2021, Twitter Spaces released globally. On June 5, the n government issued an indefinite ban on Twitter usage in the country after the platform removed tweets made by the Nigerian President . The company claimed the tweets violated its policies against "abusive behavior". Twitter called the ban "deeply concerning". Several human rights organizations, including and the local Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), spoke out against the ban as well. The Nigerian government stated that the ban was not based solely on the removal of the tweets and was a result of "a litany of problems with the social media platform in Nigeria, where misinformation and fake news spread through it have had real world violent consequences". In June 2021, Twitter announced the beta rollout of its Super Follows feature. A group of users will be allowed to charge followers monthly for access to extra content, not available in their regular feed. The company also launched the Ticketed Spaces program in beta, a premium version of its audio room feature Spaces, which makes access to certain audio rooms paid. Twitter rolled out changes in the interface on August 11, 2021. Among adjustments in color uses, the major change was converting to their new Chirp font, designed to allow left-alignment of most Western languages as to make browsing of tweets easier to follow. An October 21, 2021, report based on a "long-running, massive-scale randomized experiment" that analyzed "millions of tweets sent between 1 April and 15 August 2020", found that Twitter's machine learning algorithm amplified right-leaning politics on personalized user Home timelines. The report compared seven countries with active Twitter users where data was available—Germany, Canada, the United Kingdom, Japan, France, and Spain—and examined Tweets "from major political groups and politicians". Researchers used the 2019 Chapel Hill Expert Survey (CHESDATA) to position parties on political ideology within each country. The "machine learning algorithms"—introduced by Twitter in 2016—personalized 99% of users' feeds by displaying Tweets—even older Tweets and Retweets from accounts the user had not directly followed—but that the algorithm had "deemed relevant" to the users' past preferences. Twitter randomly chose 1% of users whose Home timelines displayed content in reverse-chronological order from users they directly followed.
LeadershipAs , Dorsey saw the startup through two rounds of capital funding by the ists who backed the company. On October 16, 2008, Williams took over the role of CEO, and Dorsey became chairman of the board. On October 4, 2010, Williams announced that he was stepping down as CEO. , formerly Twitter's , became CEO. On October 4, 2010, Williams made an announcement saying that he will stay with the company and "be completely focused on product strategy". According to '' '', "Mr. Dorsey and Mr. Costolo forged a close relationship" when Williams was away. According to '' '', Williams was "no longer involved in the day-to-day goings on at the company". He was focused on developing a new startup, and became a member of Twitter's board of directors, and promised to "help in any way e could. In 2011, Stone was still with Twitter but was working with AOL as an "advisor on volunteer efforts and philanthropy". In January 2014, Stone announced the release of Jelly, a 'social Q&A network for mobile'. Dorsey rejoined Twitter in March 2011, as executive chairman focusing on product development. At that time, he split his schedule with (where he is CEO), whose offices are within walking distance of Twitter's in San Francisco. In September 2011, board members and investors Fred Wilson and Bijan Sabet resigned from Twitter's board of directors. In October 2012, Twitter announced it had hired former Google executive Matt Derella to become their new director of business agency development. Twitter named former Goldman Sachs executive Anthony Noto as the company's CFO in July 2014, with an "annual salary of $250,000 and one-time restricted stock options of 1.5 million shares ... valued at $61.5 million". On June 10, 2015, Twitter announced its CEO would resign on July 1, 2015. Noto was said to be considered a potential replacement for outgoing CEO Costolo. On October 14, 2015, former Google chief business officer became executive chairman, replacing Dorsey who remains CEO. On January 26, 2016, Leslie Berland, former executive vice president of global advertising, marketing, and digital partnerships at , was named chief marketing officer. In November 2016, COO Adam Bain announced his resignation and CFO Anthony Noto took over Bain's role. A month later, on December 20, 2016, CTO Adam Messinger announced that he too was leaving. In February 2020, it was reported that had acquired a stake in Twitter, with and supporter Paul Singer expected to seek the removal of Dorsey as CEO. Twitter agreed to appoint a new independent director and two new board members, and to perform $2 billion in share buybacks. On November 29, 2021, Jack Dorsey stepped down as CEO. He was replaced by CTO Parag Agrawal.
List of chairmen# (2008–2015) # (2015–2020) # (2020–2021) # (2021-present)
List of CEOs# (2006–2008) # Evan Williams (2008–2010) # (2010–2015) # (2015–2021); second term # (2021–present)
Appearance and features
TweetsTweets are publicly visible by default, but senders can restrict message delivery to only their followers. Users can mute users they do not wish to interact with, block accounts from viewing their tweets and remove accounts from their followers list. Users can tweet via the Twitter website, compatible external applications (such as for s), or by (SMS) available in certain countries. Users may subscribe to other users' tweets—this is known as "following" and subscribers are known as "followers" or "tweeps", a portmanteau of Twitter and peeps. Individual tweets can be forwarded by other users to their own feed, a process known as a "retweet". In 2015, Twitter launched "quote tweet" (originally called "retweet with comment"), a feature that allows users to add a comment to their retweet, nesting one tweet in the other. Users can also " " (formerly "favorite") individual tweets. The counters for "likes", "retweets", and replies appear next to the respective buttons in timelines such as on profile pages and search results. Counters for likes and retweets exist on a tweet's standalone page too. Since September 2020, quote tweets, formerly known as "retweet with comment", have an own counter on their tweet page. Until the legacy desktop front end that was discontinued in 2020, a row with miniature profile pictures of up to ten liking or retweeting users was displayed (earliest documented implementation in December 2011 overhaul), as well as a tweet reply counter next to the according button on a tweet's page. Twitter allows users to update their profile via their mobile phone either by text messaging or by apps released for certain smartphones and tablets. Twitter has been compared to a web-based (IRC) client. In a 2009 '' '' magazine essay, technology author described the basic mechanics of Twitter as "remarkably simple": According to research published in April 2014, around 44% of user accounts have never tweeted. The first tweet was posted by Jack Dorsey (creator) at 12:50 PM PST on March 21, 2006, and read "just setting up my twttr". In 2009, the first tweet was sent from space. US astronauts Nicola Stott and Jeff Williams took part in a live 'tweetup' from the International Space Station with around 35 members of the public at the in In March 2021, Jack Dorsey listed his first tweet for sale. The highest bid for the tweet, $2.5 million, came from a Malaysian businessman, Sina Estavi. Along with the metadata of the original tweet, the buyer was to receive a certificate that was digitally signed and verified by Dorsey.
Content-based market-research firm Pear Analytics analyzed 2,000 tweets (originating from the United States and in English) over a two-week period in August 2009 from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm (CST) and separated them into six categories. Pointless babble made up 40%, with 38% being conversational. Pass-along value had 9%, self-promotion 6% with and news each making 4%. Despite Jack Dorsey's own open contention that a message on Twitter is "a short burst of inconsequential information", social networking researcher responded to the Pear Analytics survey by arguing that what the Pear researchers labeled "pointless babble" is better characterized as " " or "peripheral awareness" (which she justifies as persons "want to know what the people around them are thinking and doing and feeling, even when co-presence isn't viable"). Similarly, a survey of Twitter users found that a more specific social role of passing along messages that include a hyperlink is an expectation of reciprocal linking by followers.
= Hashtags, usernames, retweets and replies= Users can group posts together by topic or type by use of s – words or phrases prefixed with a "
#" sign. Similarly, the "
@" sign followed by a is used for mentioning or replying to other users. In 2014, in anticipation for the , Twitter introduced hashflags, special hashtags that automatically generate a custom next to them for a certain period of time, following the success of a similar campaign during the . Hashflags may be generated by Twitter themselves (such as to raise awareness for s) or be purchased by corporations (such as to promote products and events). To repost a message from another Twitter user and share it with one's own followers, a user can click the retweet button within the Tweet. Users can reply other accounts' replies. Since November 2019, users can hide replies to their messages. Since May 2020, users can select who can reply each of their tweets before sending them: anyone, accounts who follow the poster, specific accounts, and none. This ability was upgraded in July 2021 to make the feature retroactively applicable to tweets after they have been sent out.
= Twitter Lists= In late 2009, the "Twitter Lists" feature was added, making it possible for users to follow ad hoc lists of authors instead of individual authors.
= Using SMS= Through SMS, users can communicate with Twitter through five gateway numbers: s for the United States, Canada, India, New Zealand, and an -based number for international use. There is also a short code in the United Kingdom which is only accessible to those on the , O2 and networks. In India, since Twitter only supports tweets from , an alternative platform called smsTweet was set up by a user to work on all networks. A similar platform called GladlyCast exists for mobile phone users in Singapore and Malaysia. The tweets were set to a largely constrictive 140-character limit for compatibility with SMS messaging, introducing the shorthand notation and slang commonly used in SMS messages. The 140-character limit also increased the usage of services such as bit.ly, goo.gl, tinyurl.com, tr.im, and other content-hosting services such as , memozu.com and NotePub to accommodate content and text longer than 140 characters. Since June 2011, Twitter has used its own t.co domain for automatic of all URLs posted on its site, making other link shorteners unnecessary for staying within Twitter's 140 character limit. In August 2019, Jack Dorsey's account was hacked by using Twitter's SMS to tweet feature to send crude messages. Days later, the ability to send a tweet via SMS was temporarily turned off. In April 2020, Twitter discontinued the ability to receive SMS messages containing the text of new tweets in most countries.
= Character limits= In 2016, Twitter announced that media such as photos, videos, and the person's handle, would not count against the already constrictive 140 character limit. A user photo post used to count for a large chunk of a Tweet, about 24 characters. Attachments and links would also no longer be part of the character limit. On March 29, 2016, Twitter introduced the ability to add a caption of up to 480 characters to each image attached to a tweet.Twitter Help center: Picture Descriptions - How to make images accessible for people
=URL shortener= t.co is a service created by Twitter. It is only available for links posted to Twitter and not available for general use. All links posted to Twitter use a t.co wrapper. Twitter hopes that the service will be able to protect users from malicious sites, and will use it to track clicks on links within tweets. Having used the services of third parties and bit.ly, Twitter began experimenting with its own URL shortening service for private messages in March 2010 using the twt.tl domain, before it purchased the t.co domain. The service was tested on the main site using the accounts @TwitterAPI, @rsarver and @raffi. On September 2, 2010, an email from Twitter to users said they would be expanding the roll-out of the service to users. On June 7, 2011, Twitter announced that it was rolling out the feature.
Trending topicsA word, phrase, or topic that is mentioned at a greater rate than others is said to be a "trending topic". Trending topics become popular either through a concerted effort by users or because of an event that prompts people to talk about a specific topic. These topics help Twitter and their users to understand what is happening in the world and what people's opinions are about it. Trending topics are sometimes the result of concerted efforts and manipulations by fans of certain celebrities or cultural phenomena, particularly musicians like (known as Little Monsters), (Beliebers), (Rih Navy) and (Directioners), and novel series '' '' (Twihards) and '' '' (Potterheads). Twitter has altered the trend algorithm in the past to prevent manipulation of this type with limited success. The Twitter web interface displays a list of trending topics on a sidebar on the home page, along with sponsored content (see image). Twitter often censors trending hashtags that are claimed to be abusive or offensive. Twitter censored the #Thatsafrican and #thingsdarkiessay hashtags after users complained that they found the hashtags offensive. There are allegations that Twitter removed # from the trending list and added an -sponsored hashtag. President Donald Trump prosteted trends calling them "unfair, disgusting, illegal, ridiculous" claiming the ones that are bad about him are blown up.
MomentsIn October 2015, Twitter introduced "Moments"—a feature that allows users to curate tweets from other users into a larger collection. Twitter initially intended the feature to be used by its in-house editorial team and other partners; they populated a dedicated tab in Twitter's apps, chronicling news headlines, sporting events, and other content. In September 2016, creation of moments became available to all Twitter users.
Adding and following contentThere are numerous tools for adding content, monitoring content and conversations including Twitter's own TweetDeck, , HootSuite, and Twitterfeed.com. , fewer than half of tweets posted were posted using the web user interface with most users using third-party applications (based on an analysis of 500 million tweets by Sysomos).
Verified accountsIn June 2009, after being criticized by and sued by over unauthorized accounts run by s, the company launched their "Verified Accounts" program. Twitter stated that an account with a "blue tick" verification badge indicates "we've been in contact with the person or entity the account is representing and verified that it is approved". In July 2016, Twitter announced a public application process to grant verified status to an account "if it is determined to be of public interest" and that verification "does not imply an endorsement". Verified status allows access to some features unavailable to other users, such as only seeing mentions from other verified accounts. In November 2020, Twitter announced a relaunch of its verification system in 2021. According to the new policy, Twitter verifies six different types of accounts; for three of them (companies, brands, and influential individuals like activists), the existence of a page will be one criterion for showing that the account has "Off Twitter Notability". Twitter states that it will re-open public verification applications at some point in "early 2021".
MobileTwitter has mobile apps for , , ,