What Is Twitter?
Twitter is a social media network where friends, family, and coworkers can communicate as well as stay connected by using short, quick messages. Twitter allows users to create messages up to 140 characters to share with their network of individuals, also known as followers. The messages are referred to as Tweets in this social media platform.
Twitter’s creators were Jack Dorsey, Evan Williams, Biz Stone, and Noah Glass who launched their wonderful platform in July 2006 after just a few months of development. The service they provided quickly generated mass interest and in 2012 they had amassed 100 million users who generated 340 million tweets per day.
In 2013, Twitter was on the top ten list for the most visited websites worldwide and currently in 2015, Twitter has more than 500 million users, and of that number, 302 million are active daily users.
The social platform sees usage typically spike during worldwide events such as Fifa World Cup, NBA Finals, or when someone popular passes away. For example, when Michael Jackson passed, the Twitter servers crashed as they saw the words “Michael Jackson” being published at a rate of 100,000 times per hour. That record however was shattered in Japan on August 03, 2013 during the television airing of the movie “Castle in The Sky”. On that day, 143,199 tweets were published per second.
Twitter now provides support for images and videos right on their site. Many businesses and individuals share this format of media within their tweets and see much of it go viral with just a few clicks.
Through the years of their history, there have been some important and notable events:
- February 21, 2012 – Twitter and Yandex (a Russian Search Engine) agreed to a partnership based on streaming content value.
- October 05, 2012 – Twitter acquires video clip company Vine
- October 29, 2014 – Twitter announced they had a new partnership with IBM which provided businesses the ability to use Twitter data to understand their customers and trends.
- March 13, 2015 – Twitter acquires Periscope which has an app allowing the live streaming of video.
Twitter has a wide variety of content. Pear Analytics, a market research firm out of San Antonio categorized a survey of 2000 Tweets as follows:
Pointless Babble: 40%
Pass Along Value: 9%
Self Promotion: 6%
We along with Danah Boyd, a Social Networking Researcher, believe that the survey aspect characterized as “Pointless Babble” is in actuality Social Grooming and Peripheral Awareness; people wanting to know what the people around them are thinking, doing, and feeling.
Some Twitter Basics
When one mentions another Twitter user or messages someone, they use the format of @webdesignfv . The @ sign is used before their profile name.
The #hashtag is used to identify topics which allows users to find the subject material they are interested in faster. #hashtags have become widely used all over the internet and throughout the majority of social platforms as topic identifier markers.
When someone shares a “Tweet”, if it is liked by someone they have the opportunity to publicly acknowledge that they like it as well as “ReTweet” it which is simply sharing the original Tweet with their followers. One might say, sharing is caring!
All tweets are limited to a 140 character limit and that includes links. Images and Video depending on the size, when shared use up some of the 140 character limit. Many use URL shortening services but since 2011 the social media platform has a built in automatic URL shortening service.
Trending topics are defined as topics that become popular at a greater rate than others and is generated by a strong effort by users to share and talk about it.
Most Popular Accounts as of December 12, 2015 with the Most Followers
- Katy Perry: 78,887,829
- Justin Bieber: 71,221,007
- Taylor Swift: 67,304,090
- Barack Obama: 66,964,845
- YouTube: 57,240,060
- Rihanna: 53,444,211
- Lady Gaga: 53,114,752
- Ellen DeGeneres: 50,887,048
- Justin Timberlake: 50,378,777
- Twitter: 48,892,199