If you are a regular on Bit Rebels, you’ve probably noticed that I’ve written close to 100 articles about Twitter. Twitter is very near and dear to my heart, and it’s one of my favorite topics to write about. This time; however, I’m going to take a different approach.
I normally write about the touchy-feely side of Twitter. For example, I write about how to build relationships on the site, and how to be a good tweep. One thing I haven’t written about before is the business side of Twitter. As an entrepreneur, I’m very inspired by how a company goes from being a vision in someone’s mind to a household name. How does that transition happen? How does it all start?
Twitter is a perfect example of a company not only to learn from as an entrepreneur, but also to use as an inspiration for what is truly possible. If you do a simple Google search, you can piece together the facts, which paint an exciting Twitter success story. In this article, I’ve just pulled out five of those facts that I found really fascinating. I hope you enjoy this little walk down Twitter memory lane… (Thank you Jack for your continuous inspiration)
1. The Original Name Of Twitter Was Twttr
We’ve pretty much all seen a copy of the first tweet ever sent by Jack Dorsey. In case you haven’t, I put an image of it below. However, what you may not know is that the original name of Twitter was Twttr. I, like many people, just thought Jack was abbreviating the word Twitter in that first tweet, but he wasn’t. At that time, it was Twttr. A few months after the service began, the founders changed the name to Twitter and completely rebranded.
2. The Twitter.com Domain Name Cost $7,500 In 2006
According to a TechCrunch article from last September, Evan Williams tweeted that they paid $7,500 for Twitter.com when they decided to switch from Twttr. This happened within the first six months of the service. It’s amazing that adding a vowel to the domain name would make it that much more expensive. Now, of course, that is one of the most valuable domain names in the world. About 78% of all Twitter traffic goes through Twitter.com, while the rest through 3rd party apps (of which there are 300,000 by the way).
3. When Twitter First Began, There Wasn’t A 140 Character Limit
It is always so interesting to me to learn how sites like Twitter evolve. In the beginning, there weren’t any character limits. Just like with text, if the words were over 160 characters, it split up and delivered as two tweets, or however many. Soon, in 2007, for several different reasons (including a huge SMS bill since back then people paid per message), the group decided to limit each tweet to 140 characters. Soon thereafter, Jack sent this tweet.
4. Twitter Dramatically Changed Between 2009 And 2010
If you are like me, you were on Twitter in 2009 and 2010, and you might not have noticed a big difference; however, Twitter changed dramatically during that time. It makes sense since 100 million new users joined Twitter in 2010. What the changes point to is that people are becoming more and more comfortable with putting their private information online. Twitter accounts with bios, detailed names, locations and website URLs skyrocketed. You can see the graphs that detail this in an article published on Mashable called How Twitter Users Changed in 2010 [CHARTS]. I put just one of those charts below for you.
5. More People Have Twitter Accounts Than You Think
With as many people out there who still don’t get Twitter, it’s easy to think it’s still a small community of geeks. I remember there was a time when none of my offline friends were on Twitter, and they would tease me about it. People used to say, “Why would you want to get on Twitter just to tell everyone what you had for breakfast.” Well, times have changed for sure. More and more people see the value in Twitter personally and professionally. Here’s a stat you may not know: 180 million unique visitors come to Twitter every month. 300,000 new users sign up for Twitter each day. As you probably know, 1 in every 12 people is on Facebook. Twitter is not that popular yet, but it’s definitely on its way! According to Baseline, only 5% of Americans were aware of Twitter in 2008 compared to 87% in 2010.
This is Jack Dorsey’s original sketch of the Twitter concept. You can read some interesting thoughts he had about it on his Flickr dated March 24, 2006. At the end, he added a note that humbly read, “I hope it thrives.”