Twitter is an online social media and news platform where users can post in the form of 140 character ‘tweets’, or with photos and videos. It is seen as a significant news source, with 1.6 billion search queries per day, and is one of the top 20 most visited sites on the internet.
Launched 15 July 2006 by Jack P. Dorsey, the company began to gain significant usage in 2007 after a South by Southwest Interactive (SXSW) conference. At this event, the usage of the platform went from 20,000 tweets a day to 60,000. They received the Web Award prize at the same conference.
Significant growth began in that year. In 2007 there were approximately 400,000 tweets per quarter, by 2008 this reached 100 million tweets per quarter, and at the moment there are around 500 million tweets per day. By 2009 Twitter was ranked the third most used social media website, and as of 2016 there were 305 million monthly active users.
Prior to its IPO, Twitter was funded completely by venture capitalist growth funding. Although the exact figures are undisclosed, it is estimated that it received $57 million while it was a private company. As it is not a subscription based service, between 80%–90% of Twitter’s revenue comes from advertising.
Twitter is an online social media platform, and has become one of, if not the best, places to see what is happening anywhere in the world. The service provides a platform of public self-expression and conversation in real-time. Its public nature allows content posted to be distributed in a more thorough and comprehensive manner, with most of the major news networks updating their accounts regularly.
Its inclusion of verification (starting from 2009) allows for users to readily see actual updates from celebrities, governments and other notable individuals.
Another arm of its business is Periscope (purchased in 2016) which allows for the public live streaming of video. Twitter also acquired Magic Pony Technology, a machine learning based company, which uses neural networks to improve images.
The usage of hashtags (#) allows for trending topics to be easily visible. This is especially useful in cases of natural disasters, and can be extremely helpful for both rescue crews, and people affected. This key feature has also been instrumental in some major world events. Much of the Arab Spring in 2011 was said to be organised via Twitter, as well as the US Occupy movement in 2011, and many other protests. Twitter is banned in China, North Korea and Iran.
Most retweeted image – Carter Wilkerson, May 2017: 3.5 million retweets.
Quickest to 1 million followers – Caitlyn Jenner, June 2015: 4 hours 3 minutes.
Most tweeted moment – during the airing of “Castle in the Sky” all fans tweeted the word “balse” when said in the movie, August 2013: 143,199 tweets in a second
Most tweeted hashtag – #ALDubEBTamangPanahon of Aldub. During a live presentation of Kalyeserye, a segment of a Filipino daytime show: 41 million tweets
Most tweeted sporting event – 2014 FIFA World Cup semi-final between Brazil and Germany: 35.6 million tweets.
Largest source of breaking news – 2016 US presidential election: 40 million tweets in a day
Most followed account – Katy Perry: 108,590,615 followers
First off-world tweet – January 2010, NASA astronaut T.J. Creamer
Twitter is listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) as of 7 November 2013. 70 million shares were issued by lead underwriter Goldman Sachs initially, at a price of $26 per share. On the first day, the shares closed at $44.90, giving the company an initial valuation of $31 billion. Despite such profitable first day, its share price, has dropped significantly during its lifetime, at $27.72 as of April 16, 2018. The decline was also not steady; the volatility can be seen TWTR chart at Capital.com.