San Francisco: Twitter Inc. came to life on 21 March 2006 when co-founder Jack Dorsey’s account (@jack) automatically sent out the first tweet, which read: “just setting up my twttr.”
Dorsey followed it up with the first “human-generated” tweet: “inviting coworkers.”
Since then, more than 170 billion tweets have gone out worldwide, and Twitter has 500 million users, according to Dashburst.com, a website that monitors the social media industry. Officially, Twitter has only said it has “well over 200 million” users.
Some more facts about a global phenomenon:
• Justin Bieber (@justinbieber) has the most followers with 44,418,729, as of 3am on Thursday, followed by Katy Perry (@katyperry) with 42,603,233 and Lady Gaga (@ladygaga) with 40,094,580.
• US President Barack Obama (@barackobama) is fourth with 36,493,643 followers; the announcement of his re-election victory in November 2012 was re-tweeted 802,624 times.
• The average Twitter user has 208 followers and spends 170 minutes on the site every month.
• There are more than 200 million active Twitter users. 80% of all users access Twitter on mobile devices.
• China is the country with the most Twitter users with 35.5 million, according to Dashburst.
• About 20 million Twitter accounts are believed to be fake.
• The hashtag (#) feature on Twitter, which groups tweets by subject, debuted in August 2007, proposed by a user.
• In October 2009, Google Inc. and Microsoft Corp. began integrating tweets into their search products.
• In January 2013, Twitter introduced Vine, which enabled users to make and tweet six-second looping videos. Some 12 million Vine videos are uploaded every day.
• Twitter is based in San Francisco, with additional employees in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and Washington. Its total payroll exceeds 900.
• Prior to Thursday’s IPO announcement, many analysts valued Twitter at around $10 billion. By comparison, Facebook went public valued at $16 billion.
• Twitter was incorporated in April 2007, the month after it stole the show at the influential South by Southwest technology and indie music festival in Austin, Texas.
• Asked by AFP in March 2011 why Twitter is such a hit, Stone replied: “A big part is that it is just very simple and connects people to other people they would not otherwise be connected to.”
• The initial Twitter logo was created by Stone, a former graphic designer.
• Twitter chief executive Dick Costolo is a former improvisational comedian.