Happy birthday to Twitter, which turns six years old today.
It began innocently enough, with Jack Dorsey sending out a tweet that simply said, “just setting up my twttr” (which is what the service was called in those days, when vowels were often seen as unhip).
Today, Twitter says it’s now surpassed 140 million active users — up from about 100 million back in September. There are also about 340 million tweets per day. (That’s about 4,000 tweets per second, by the way.) Twitter is also now available in 28 languages around the world.
Aside from numbers, there’s Twitter’s continued encroachment into daily lives. Whether you’re a user or not, you can hardly watch a network news program or live sporting event without seeing the anchors’ or hosts’ Twitter handles being advertised at every turn. It seems that every major event involves a new tweets-per-second (TPS) standard, like this year’s Super Bowl, which saw a 300 percent rise in TPS compared to last year’s game. Twitter even had as many mentions as Facebook during this year’s Super Bowl commercials.
Three days after its launch, Dorsey shared an image on Flickr that went back even further — to the genesis of a status update tool that he sketched in July 2000, with plans to run the service via the my.stat.us URL.
In the description of that image, Dorsey wrote:
We’re calling it twttr (though this original rendering calls it stat.us; I love the word.ed domains, e.g. gu.st/). It’s evolved a lot in the past few months. From an excited discussion and persuasion on the South Park playground to a recently approved application for a SMS shortcode. I’m happy this idea has taken root; I hope it thrives.
I’d say so far, so good.
Postscript: I’m not sure if this is new, but Twitter has collected the first 30 tweets: https://twitter.com/#!/First30Tweets.
(Stock image via Shutterstock.com. Used under license.)