Today, March 21st, 2013, is Twitter’s seventh birthday: happy birthday Twitter!
In just seven years the social network has grown massively and now boasts 200 million users.
Back on March 21st, 2006, Jack Dorsey, Twitter’s creator, tweeted for the first time.
Today Twitter’s 200 million active users send more than 400 million tweets between them per day. It has become a world-wide network dominated by celebrities: Justin Bieber and Lady Gaga have 36 and 35 million followers respectively.
There are some famous Twitter moments, such as Barack Obama’s tweet after he won his second presidency, the first off-Earth message from the International Space Station and, more recently, coverage of the papacy – when Twitter activity reached an amazing 130,000 tweets a minute during the announcement about the new Pope.
Twitter has been valued by some financial experts at $10 billion (7.75 billion euros). It has had a massive impact on the way businesses and the media communicate with their customers. It presents a more immediate and openly public dialogue than social network site Facebook.
Twitter’s considerable success has not been without controversy: it, like other social media sites, has been the subject of privacy disputes and growing concerns over online bullying and hate speech.
Personally I find Twitter something of a strange phenomenon and a platform for celebrities and egos to do their worst. On the other hand, it offers a relevant and real-time news channel. Above all, I find it an exhausting platform and one I wish would flutter off. That is not going to happen: well not until a replacement platform comes along, which, no doubt, it will. Oh for the fun and simplicity of plastic cups and string!