Useful information about history of Twitter and how it starts, works, criticized and many more

In the very recent we all have come to know that there is a thing in the world which is called TWITTER.

50% of Americans use Twitter nowadays. I was curios from the first day I have come to know about twitter, that how I got addicted to it. So have doing some research on Twiiter like how it Begins, how it effects us. Why do people are getting addicted to it.

In this article I am going to showcase some important and interesting information about THE GREAT TWITTER. If you like this article, please give some comments to encourage me. It feels good.

History of Twitter

Twitter began in a “daylong brainstorming session” that was held by board members of the podcasting company Odeo in an attempt to break out of a creative slump. At that meeting Jack Dorsey introduced the idea of an individual using an SMS service to communicate with a small group, a concept partly inspired by the SMS group messaging service TXTMob.

sms
Jack Dorsey

The working name was just “Status” for a while. It actually didn’t have a name. We were trying to name it, and mobile was a big aspect of the product early on … We liked the SMS aspect, and how you could update from anywhere and receive from anywhere.

Jack Dorsey

We wanted to capture that in the name — we wanted to capture that feeling: the physical sensation that you’re buzzing your friend’s pocket. It’s like buzzing all over the world. So we did a bunch of name-storming, and we came up with the word “twitch,” because the phone kind of vibrates when it moves. But “twitch” is not a good product name because it doesn’t bring up the right imagery. So we looked in the dictionary for words around it, and 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.

  • Jack Dorsey

The original product name or codename for the service was twttr, inspired by Flickr and the fact that American SMS short codes are five characters. The developers initially experimented with “10958 as a short code, though 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 PM Pacific Standard Time (PST): “just setting up my twttr”.

The first Twitter prototype was used as an internal service for Odeo employees, later launching publicly into a full-scale version in July 2006. In October 2006,Biz Stone, Evan Williams, Dorsey and other members of Odeo formed Obvious Corporation and acquired Odeo and all of its assetsincluding Odeo.com and Twitter.com from the investors and other shareholders. Twitter later spun off into its own company in April 2007.

The tipping point for Twitter’s popularity was the 2007 South by Southwest (SXSW) festival. During the event usage went 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 Newsweeks Steven Levy. “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. Soon everyone was buzzing and posting about this new thing that was sort of instant messaging and sort of blogging and maybe even a bit of sending a stream of telegrams.” Reaction at the festival was overwhelmingly positive. Laughing Squid blogger Scott Beale said Twitter “absolutely rul[ed]” SXSW. Social software researcher Danah Boyd said Twitter “own[ed]” the festival. Twitter staff accepted their prize for the festival’s Web Award with the remark “we’d like to thank you in 140 characters or less. And we just did!”

Finances

Twitter HQ is on the 4th floor of this not very spectacular building. 4 June 2009

twitter

originally posted to Flickr as Building where Twitter HQ is

In total, Twitter has raised over US$57 million from venture capitalists. The exact amounts of funding have not been publicly released. Twitter’s first round of funding was for an undisclosed amount that is rumored to have been between $1 million and $5 million. Its B round of funding in 2008 was for $22 million and its C round of funding in 2009 was for $35 million from Institutional Venture Partners and Benchmark Capital along with an undisclosed amount from other investors including Union Square Ventures, Spark Capital and Insight Venture Partners. Twitter is backed by Union Square Ventures, Digital Garage, Spark Capital, and Bezos Expeditions.

The Industry Standard has remarked that Twitter’s long-term viability is limited by a lack of revenue. Twitter board member Todd Chaffee forecast that the company could make money from e-commerce noting that many users may want to buy items directly from Twitter since they already use it to get product recommendations and since companies already use it to promote products.

Some of Twitter’s documents covering revenue and user growth were published on TechCrunch after they were retrieved by a hacker. These contained internal projections that in 2009 they would have revenues of $400,000 in the third quarter (Q3) and $4 million in the fourth quarter (Q4) along with 25 million users at the end of the year. The projections for the end of 2013 were $1.54 billion in revenue, $111 million in net earnings, and 1 billion users. No information about how Twitter plans to achieve those numbers has been published. Biz Stone published a blog post suggesting legal action for revealing the details was a possibility.

Technology

Twitter has been described as akin to a Web-based Internet Relay Chat (IRC) client. The Twitter Web interface uses the Ruby on Rails framework. From the spring of 2007 until 2008 the actual messages were handled by a Ruby persistent queue server called Starling but since 2009 this has been gradually replaced with software written in Scala. The service’s API allows other web services and applications to integrate with Twitter. Searches on the system make use of hashtags, words or phrases prefixed with a #. A search for “beer” would turn up all messages that included #beer. Similarly, the @ sign followed by a username allows users to send messages directly to each other. A message with @example would be directed at the user “example” although it can still be read by anyone.

Through SMS, users can communicate with Twitter through five gateway numbers: short codes for the United States, Canada, India, New Zealand, and an Isle of Man-based number for international use. There is also a short code in the United Kingdom which is only accessible to those on the Vodafone and O2networks.

Interface

Technology author Steven Johnson describes the basic mechanics of Twitter as “remarkably simple:”

As a social network, Twitter revolves around the principle of followers. When you choose to follow another Twitter user, that user’s tweets appear in reverse chronological order on your main Twitter page. If you follow 20 people, you’ll see a mix of tweets scrolling down the page: breakfast-cereal updates, interesting new links, music recommendations, even musings on the future of education.

On April 30, 2009, Twitter tweaked its web interface, adding a search bar and a sidebar of Trending Topics—the most common phrases currently appearing in messages. “Every public update sent to Twitter from anywhere in the world 24/7 can be instantly indexed and made discoverable via our newly launched real-time search,” explained Biz Stone. “With this newly launched feature, Twitter has become something unexpectedly important—a discovery engine for finding out what is happening right now.”

Content of tweets

San Antonio-based market research firm Pear Analytics analyzed 2,000 tweets (originating from the US and in English) over a 2-week period from 11:00a to 5:00p (CST) and separated them into six categories:

  • News
  • Spam
  • Self-promotion
  • Pointless babble
  • Conversational
  • Pass-along value

Twitter-layout

The firm found that “pointless babble” was the largest category of Twitter content, making up 811 tweets or 40.55 percent of the total number of messages sampled.

Conversational messages accounted for 751 messages or 37.55 percent, tweets with “pass-along value” i.e. retweets – accounted for 174 messages or 8.70 percent, self-promotion by companies made up 117 tweets or 5.85 percent, spam was 75 tweets or 3.75 percent and tweets with news from mainstream media publications accounted for 72 tweets or 3.60 percent.

Social networking researcher Danah Boyd responded to the Pear Analytics survey by arguing that what the Pear researchers labelled “pointless babble” is better characterized as “peripheral awareness” or “social grooming”.

Just 11 percent of Twitter’s users are aged 12 to 17, according to comScore

Criticism

The Wall Street Journal wrote that social-networking services such as Twitter “elicit mixed feelings in the technology-savvy people who have been their early adopters. Fans say they are a good way to keep in touch with busy friends. But some users are starting to feel “too” connected, as they grapple with check-in messages at odd hours, higher cellphone bills and the need to tell acquaintances to stop announcing what they’re having for dinner.” “Using Twitter for literate communication is about as likely as firing up a CB radio and hearing some guy recite ˜The Iliad “, said tech writer Bruce Sterling. “For many people, the idea of describing your blow-by-blow activities in such detail is absurd,” hypothesized writer Clive Thompson. “Why would you subject your friends to your daily minutiae? And conversely, how much of their trivia can you absorb? The growth of ambient intimacy can seem like modern narcissism taken to a new, supermetabolic extreme the ultimate expression of a generation of celebrity-addled youths who believe their every utterance is fascinating and ought to be shared with the world.” On the other hand Steve Dotto opines that part of Twitter’s appeal is the challenge of trying to publish such messages in tight constraints. “The qualities that make Twitter seem inane and half-baked are what makes it so powerful,” says Jonathan Zittrain, professor of Internet law at Harvard Law School.

Nielsen Online reports that Twitter has a user retention rate of 40 percent. Many people drop the service after a month so the site may potentially reach only about 10% of all Internet users. In 2009, Twitter won the “Breakout of the Year” Webby Award.

During a February 2009 discussion on National Public Radio’s Weekend Edition, Daniel Schorr noted that Twitter accounts of events lacked rigorous fact-checking and other editorial improvements. In response, Andy Carvin gave Schorr two examples of breaking news stories that played out on Twitter and said users wanted first-hand accounts and sometimes debunked stories.

In an episode of The Daily Show on February 26, 2009, guest Brian Williams derided tweets as only referring to the condition of the author in any given instant. Williams implied that he would never use Twitter because nothing he did was interesting enough to publish in Twitter format.

During another episode of The Daily Show on March 2, 2009, host Jon Stewart negatively portrayed members of Congress who chose to “twitter” during President Obama‘s address to Congress (on February 24, 2009) rather than pay attention to the content of the speech. The show’s Samantha Bee satirized media coverage of the service saying “there’s no surprise young people love it—according to reports of young people by middle aged people”.

In March 2009, the comic strip Doonesbury began to satirize Twitter. Many characters highlighted the triviality of tweets although one defended the need to keep up with the constant-update trend. SuperNews! similarly satirized Twitter as an addiction to “constant self-affirmation” and said tweets were nothing more than “shouts into the darkness hoping someone is listening”.

Notable usage

Use in campaigning

Used to survey opinion

Use in public relations

Use in reporting dissent

Use in protest and politics

Use in emergencies

Use in criminal proceedings

Use in space exploration

NASA

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