March 21, 2011
by Mark Ollig
The first tweet read “just setting up my twttr.”
This message was sent by Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey March 21, 2006, while working at a podcasting company called Odeo, Inc., in South Park, CA.
The reason he wrote “twttr” with no vowels was because Twitter’s originally intended use was to be on mobile devices. The “twttr” five-character Short Message Service (SMS) short code is: 89887.
The name Twitter was chosen by Noah Glass, who, along with Evan Williams, had founded Odeo.
Twitter messages were set at a maximum of 140 characters in length so they could fit inside the limits of a cell phone text message.
Unfortunately, they later learned a group called “Teen People” had already obtained the 89887 SMS short code.
According to Merriam Webster’s online dictionary, the word ‘twitter’ is described as “to utter successive chirping noises – to utter in chirps or twitters – to talk in a chattering fashion.”
Jack Dorsey (@Jack) sent this tweet out March 14, “At 5:33 p.m. 5 years ago today, we had design, login, & update. There were only two people on twttr, me & @florian.”
Florian, also employed at Odeo, was a programmer working with Dorsey.
Dorsey also sent this tweet, “I’m not sure if one counts the day of original programming or the first tweet (the 21st) as Twitter’s birthday. Probably the latter.”
The birth of Twitter came about one day while sitting on a children’s slide at a park, eating Mexican food. Jack Dorsey, an engineer, suggested to his Odeo colleagues an effortless way to send status updates by using text messages.
Within two weeks, Dorsey and Twitter’s other co-founder, Isaac “Biz” Stone, had built the prototype which became Twitter.
Dorsey and Stone believed this new company could make it on its own.
It was decided in 2007, to make Twitter a separate company from Odeo, Inc.
Jack Dorsey served as Twitter’s first chief executive, Isaac Stone was its creative director, and Evan Williams became Twitter’s chairman.
Here are the latest statistics and particulars about Twitter I found via Twitter’s blog:
• Twitter was incorporated in April 2007; it was co-founded by Isaac “Biz” Stone, Evan Williams and Jack Dorsey, who use Twitter names: @biz, @ev and @jack.
• The initial Twitter logo was created by Biz, who was a former graphic designer.
• Twitter has more than 200 million registered users sending more than 140 million tweets a day.
• Total tweets sent March 11, 2011, were 177 million.
• Actor Charlie Sheen (@charliesheen) was the quickest to accumulate one million Twitter followers – taking him only 24 hours to reach this milestone.
• The time it took from the first tweet to the billionth tweet: three years, two months and one day.
• In 2010, Twitter users sent 25 billion tweet messages, while Twitter itself added more than 100 million new registered user accounts.
• The time it now takes for users to send a billion tweets: one week.
• The hashtag (#) feature on Twitter (which groups tweets by subject), made its first appearance in August 2007. The hashtag idea was thought of by a Twitter user.
• The average number of new Twitter accounts per day over the last month has been 460,000.
• The current tweets-per-second record (6,939) was established four seconds after midnight in Japan, on New Year’s Day.
• When Michael Jackson died, June 25, 2009, 456 tweets-per-second were being sent.
• Lady Gaga (@ladygaga) has the most Twitter followers with 8.78 million, followed by Justin Bieber (@justinbieber) with 8.13 million. Britney Spears (@britneyspears) has 7.12 million followers, and Barack Obama (@barackobama) has 6.97 million. Kim Kardashian (@kimkardashian) comes in with 6.73 million followers, and your Bits & Bytes columnist (@bitsandbytes) reports in with a respectable 343 Twitter followers.
• In October 2009, Google and Microsoft began incorporating tweets into their search products.
• Twitter currently employs over 350 people.
• Twitter is based in San Francisco, with employees working in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Washington.
Twitter uses what is called a “Ruby on Rails” application framework, which operates on Twitter’s web server.
Ruby on Rails is sometimes called RoR, or just Rails. RoR is an open-source web programming language code originally created in 2003, by David Heinemeier Hansson.
On March 13, Jack Dorsey tweeted “I drew out the original idea on this notepad around 2001, named stat.us. Just needed the right time [and] team.” To view go to: http://tinyurl.com/22saq8.
Forty minutes latter, @jack tweeted “A week earlier, @Biz & I worked on the design to show Odeo before programming. Here’s the first twttr [dot] com http://t.co/s1gPjKv.”
Twitter’s updated blog is located at: http://blog.twitter.com.
You can view the original Twitter logo created on March 2, 2006, by going to: http://tinyurl.com/4hzs5y3.
Start twittering your own messages, follow and obtain followers of your own Twitter by visiting their web page at: http://www.twitter.com.
Become a part of this entertaining, informative, and powerful mainstream online social network.
Happy fifth birthday, Twitter.