Who Created Twitter?
Twitter was created by Jack Dorsey, a computer programmer and entrepreneur who was born in St. Louis, Missouri. He attended New York University, but in the tradition of Bill Gates and Steve Jobs, he decided to drop out and pursue his dream.
When he was 30 years old, and living in San Francisco, he created Twitter in March, 2006, and launched it in July of that year. “We decided on the word ‘twitter’ because it was perfect,” says Dorsey. “The definition is ‘a short burst of information’ and ‘chirps from birds’ and that’s exactly what it is.” In 2009, Twitter had eight employees. That figure escalated to 400 in only two years.
Basically, Twitter is an online social networking and micro-blogging service that enables its users to send and read text-based posts of up to 140 characters or “tweets” per message.
The scope of Twitter has widened considerably. Early on, it focused on celebrity deaths and football scores. For example, when Michael Jackson died in 2009, Twitter servers crashed after users were updating at a rate of 100,000 tweets per hour.
How is Twitter Used?
Twitter is used primarily for socializing, but it’s also used in a marketing capacity. To summarize:
(1) A lack of visual branding can be achieved by updating a Twitter page background with an image that conveys the positioning of the brand.
(2) Not listening for brand mentions is a no-no. Monitoring and responding to tweets in a timely manner is critical.
(3) Using it solely as a marketing channel is a turnoff. Using Twitter to push press releases doesn’t work. Focusing on adding value and sharing insightful information does.
(4) Not determining a strategy is a mistake. Marketers often set up an account on Twitter without clearly defining how it will be used. Often companies need several different accounts. Example: Ford has six different Twitter accounts and each has a specific purpose.
Twitter: 10 Fast Facts
1. There are currently about 110 million users on Twitter.
2. Dominated by the few: 5% of all Twitter accounts create 75% of all tweets.
3. The top three countries most addicted to Twitter are: The Netherlands, Japan and Brazil.
4. New York has the most Twitter profiles in the United States. The cities of Los Angeles, San Francisco and Boston vie for second place.
5. There are more than 600 million searches done every single day on Twitter.
6. Women account for more than 53% of all Twitter users.
7. The United States accounts for roughly 40% of all Twitter use.
8. The first Twitter account to reach 10 million: Lady Gaga.
9. Twitter gets more than 300,000 new users every day.
10. To date, the death of Osama Bin Laden created the greatest number of tweets.
Sources: CNN Wire, September 11, 2012; The Guardian, April 14, 2011; Financial Times, April 1, 2012; New York Post, April 1, 2012; iMedia Connection, April 9, 2009; Wikipedia; Social Media Marketing for Dummies, 2010, Business 2 Community, Mediabistro.