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p. 1

twitter s origins lie in a daylong brainstorming session held by board members of the podcasting company odeo dorsey introduced the idea of an individual using an sms service to communicate with a small group 11 the original project code name for the service was twttr an idea that williams later ascribed to noah glass 12 inspired by flickr and the five-character length of american sms short codes the developers initially considered 10958 as a short code but later changed it to 40404 for ease of use and memorability 13 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 14 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[15 the first twitter prototype was used as an internal service for odeo employees and the full version was introduced publicly on july 15 2006 7 in october 2006 biz stone evan williams dorsey and other members of odeo formed obvious corporation and acquired odeo and all of its assets­ including odeo.com and twitter.com­from the investors and shareholders 16 williams fired glass who was silent about his part in twitter s startup until 2011 17 twitter spun off into its own company in april 2007 18 reaction the tipping point for twitter s popularity was the 2007 south by southwest sxsw festival during the event twitter usage increased from 20,000 tweets per day to 60,000 19 the twitter people cleverly placed two 60-inch plasma screens in the conference hallways exclusively streaming twitter messages remarked newsweek s 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 20 reaction at the festival was highly positive blogger scott beale said that twitter absolutely rul[ed sxsw social software researcher danah boyd said twitter own[ed the festival 21 twitter staff received the festival s web award prize with the remark we d like to thank you in 140 characters or less and we just did 22 previous twitter logo used until september 14 2010 the first unassisted off-earth twitter message was posted from the international space station by nasa astronaut t j creamer on january 22 2010 23 by late november 2010 an average of a dozen updates per day were posted on the astronauts communal account @nasa_astronauts nasa has also hosted over 25 tweetups events that provide guests with vip access to nasa facilities and speakers with the goal of leveraging participants social networks to further the

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outreach goals of nasa in august 2010 the company appointed adam bain as president of revenue from news corp s fox audience network 24 on september 14 2010 twitter launched a redesigned site including a new logo however it can still be seen when twitter has an over capacity error 25 leadership as chief executive officer dorsey saw the startup through two rounds of capital funding by the venture capitalists who backed the company 26 on october 16 2008 27 williams took over the role of ceo and dorsey became chairman of the board 28 on october 4 2010 williams announced that he was stepping down as ceo dick costolo formerly twitter s chief operating officer became ceo according to a twitter blog dated october 4 2010 williams was to stay[dated info with the company and be completely focused on product strategy dated info 29 according to the new york times mr dorsey and mr costolo forged a close relationship when williams was away 30 according to pc magazine williams was no longer involved in the dayto-day goings on at the company he is focused on developing a new startup but he became a member of twitter s board of directors and promised to help in any way i can stone is still with twitter but is working with aol as an advisor on volunteer efforts and philanthropy 31 dorsey rejoined twitter in march 2011 as executive chairman focusing on product development his time is split with square where he is ceo and whose offices are within walking distance of twitter s in san francisco 30 in september 2011 board members and investors fred wilson and binjan sabet resigned from twitter s board of directors 32 growth the company experienced rapid growth it had 400,000 tweets posted per quarter in 2007 this grew to 100 million tweets posted per quarter in 2008 in february 2010 twitter users were sending 50 million tweets per day 33 by march 2010 the company recorded over 70,000 registered applications 34 as of june 2010 about 65 million tweets were posted each day equaling about 750 tweets sent each second according to twitter 35 as noted on compete.com twitter moved up to the third-highest-ranking social networking site in january 2009 from its previous rank of twenty-second 36 twitter s usage spikes during prominent events for example a record was set during the 2010

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fifa world cup when fans wrote 2,940 tweets per second in the thirty-second period after japan scored against cameroon on june 14 2010 the record was broken again when 3,085 tweets per second were posted after the los angeles lakers victory in the 2010 nba finals on june 17 2010 37 and then again at the close of japan s victory over denmark in the world cup when users published 3,283 tweets per second 38 the current record was set during the 2011 fifa women s world cup final between japan and the united states when 7,196 tweets per second were published 39 when american singer michael jackson died on june 25 2009 twitter servers crashed after users were updating their status to include the words michael jackson at a rate of 100,000 tweets per hour 40 twitter acquired application developer atebits on april 11 2010 atebits had developed the apple design award-winning twitter client tweetie for the mac and iphone the application now called twitter and distributed free of charge is the official twitter client for the iphone ipad and mac 41 from september through october 2010 the company began rolling out new twitter an entirely revamped edition of twitter.com changes included the ability to see pictures and videos without leaving twitter itself by clicking on individual tweets which contain links to images and clips from a variety of supported websites including youtube flickr as well as a complete overhaul of the interface which shifted links such as mentions and retweets above the twitter stream while messages and log out became accessible via a black bar at the very top of twitter.com as of november 1 2010 the company confirmed that the new twitter experience had been rolled out to all users on april 5 2011 twitter tested a new homepage as well as phased out the old twitter 42 however a glitch came about after the page was launched so the previous retro homepage was still in use until the issues were resolved 43 on april 20 2011 the new homepage was reintroduced though the switch to old twitter option is still available to users 44 features twitter has been compared to a web-based internet relay chat irc client 45 tweets are publicly visible by default however senders can restrict message delivery to just their followers users can tweet via the twitter website compatible external applications such as for smartphones or by short message service sms available in certain countries 46 while the service is free accessing it through sms may incur phone service provider fees users may subscribe to other users tweets ­ this is known as following and subscribers are known as followers[47 or tweeps twitter peeps 48 the users can also check the people who are unsubscribing them on twitter better known as unfollowing via various services 49 twitter allows users the ability to update their profile by using their mobile phone either by text messaging or by apps released for certain smartphones tablets 50]

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in a 2009 time essay technology author steven johnson described the basic mechanics of twitter as remarkably simple 51 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 in june 2008 twitter launched a verification program allowing celebrities to get their accounts verified 52 originally intended to help users verify which celebrity accounts were created by the celebrities themselves and therefore are not fake they have since been used to verify accounts of businesses and accounts for public figures who may not actually tweet but still wish to maintain control over the account that bears their name for example the dalai lama verified accounts can identified by a white check in a blue background known as a verification badge next to the user s full name on the profile itself or next to the name in search results messages users can group posts together by topic or type by use of hashtags ­ words or phrases prefixed with a sign similarly the sign followed by a username is used for mentioning or replying to other users 53 to repost a message from another twitter user and share it with one s own followers the retweet function is symbolized by rt in the message in late 2009 the twitter lists feature was added making it possible for users to follow as well as mention and reply to ad-hoc lists of authors instead of individual authors 47 54 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 o2[55 and orange[56 networks in india since twitter only supports tweets from bharti airtel 57 an alternative platform called smstweet[58 was set up by a user to work on all networks 59 a similar platform called gladlycast[60 exists for mobile phone users in singapore malaysia and the philippines the messages were initially set to 140-character limit for compatibility with sms messaging introducing the shorthand notation and slang commonly used in sms messages the 140-character limit has also increased the usage of url shortening services such as bit.ly goo.gl and tr.im and content-hosting services such as twitpic memozu.com and notepub to accommodate multimedia content and text longer than 140 characters twitter uses its own t.co domain for automatic shortening of all urls posted on its website 61 tweet contents

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content of tweets according to pear analytics 62 news spam self-promotion pointless babble conversational pass-along value san antonio-based market-research firm pear analytics analyzed 2,000 tweets originating from the us and in english over a two-week period in august 2009 from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm cst and separated them into six categories 62 pointless babble ­ 40 conversational ­ 38 pass-along value ­ 9 self-promotion ­ 6 spam ­ 4 news ­ 4 62 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 social grooming and/or peripheral awareness which she explains as persons want[ing to know what the people around them are thinking and doing and feeling even when co-presence isn t viable 63 rankings twitter is ranked as one of the ten-most-visited websites worldwide by alexa s web traffic analysis 64 daily user estimates vary as the company does not publish statistics on active accounts a february 2009 compete.com blog entry ranked twitter as the third most used social network based on their count of 6 million unique monthly visitors and 55 million monthly visits 65 in march 2009 a nielsen.com blog ranked twitter as the fastest-growing website in the member

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communities category for february 2009 twitter had annual growth of 1,382 percent increasing from 475,000 unique visitors in february 2008 to 7 million in february 2009 it was followed by zimbio with a 240 percent increase and facebook with a 228 percent increase 66 twitter has a user retention rate of forty percent 67 twitter s origins lie in a daylong brainstorming session held by board members of the podcasting company odeo dorsey introduced the idea of an individual using an sms service to communicate with a small group 11 the original project code name for the service was twttr an idea that williams later ascribed to noah glass 12 inspired by flickr and the five-character length of american sms short codes the developers initially considered 10958 as a short code but later changed it to 40404 for ease of use and memorability 13 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 14 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[15 the first twitter prototype was used as an internal service for odeo employees and the full version was introduced publicly on july 15 2006 7 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.com­from the investors and shareholders 16 williams fired glass who was silent about his part in twitter s startup until 2011 17 twitter spun off into its own company in april 2007 18 reaction the tipping point for twitter s popularity was the 2007 south by southwest sxsw festival during the event twitter usage increased from 20,000 tweets per day to 60,000 19 the twitter people cleverly placed two 60-inch plasma screens in the conference hallways exclusively streaming twitter messages remarked newsweek s steven levy hundreds of conferencegoers kept tabs on each other via constant twitters panelists and speakers mentioned the service and the bloggers in attendance touted it 20]

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reaction at the festival was highly positive blogger scott beale said that twitter absolutely rul[ed sxsw social software researcher danah boyd said twitter own[ed the festival 21 twitter staff received the festival s web award prize with the remark we d like to thank you in 140 characters or less and we just did 22 previous twitter logo used until september 14 2010 the first unassisted off-earth twitter message was posted from the international space station by nasa astronaut t j creamer on january 22 2010 23 by late november 2010 an average of a dozen updates per day were posted on the astronauts communal account @nasa_astronauts nasa has also hosted over 25 tweetups events that provide guests with vip access to nasa facilities and speakers with the goal of leveraging participants social networks to further the outreach goals of nasa in august 2010 the company appointed adam bain as president of revenue from news corp s fox audience network 24 on september 14 2010 twitter launched a redesigned site including a new logo however it can still be seen when twitter has an over capacity error 25 leadership as chief executive officer dorsey saw the startup through two rounds of capital funding by the venture capitalists who backed the company 26 on october 16 2008 27 williams took over the role of ceo and dorsey became chairman of the board 28 on october 4 2010 williams announced that he was stepping down as ceo dick costolo formerly twitter s chief operating officer became ceo according to a twitter blog dated october 4 2010 williams was to stay[dated info with the company and be completely focused on product strategy dated info 29 according to the new york times mr dorsey and mr costolo forged a close relationship when williams was away 30 according to pc magazine williams was no longer involved in the day-to-day goings on at the company he is focused on developing a new startup but he became a member of twitter s board of directors and promised to help in any way i can stone is still with twitter but is working with aol as an advisor on volunteer efforts and philanthropy 31]

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dorsey rejoined twitter in march 2011 as executive chairman focusing on product development his time is split with square where he is ceo and whose offices are within walking distance of twitter s in san francisco 30 in september 2011 board members and investors fred wilson and binjan sabet resigned from twitter s board of directors 32 growth the company experienced rapid growth it had 400,000 tweets posted per quarter in 2007 this grew to 100 million tweets posted per quarter in 2008 in february 2010 twitter users were sending 50 million tweets per day 33 by march 2010 the company recorded over 70,000 registered applications 34 as of june 2010 about 65 million tweets were posted each day equaling about 750 tweets sent each second according to twitter 35 as noted on compete.com twitter moved up to the third-highest-ranking social networking site in january 2009 from its previous rank of twenty-second 36 twitter s usage spikes during prominent events for example a record was set during the 2010 fifa world cup when fans wrote 2,940 tweets per second in the thirty-second period after japan scored against cameroon on june 14 2010 the record was broken again when 3,085 tweets per second were posted after the los angeles lakers victory in the 2010 nba finals on june 17 2010 37 and then again at the close of japan s victory over denmark in the world cup when users published 3,283 tweets per second 38 the current record was set during the 2011 fifa women s world cup final between japan and the united states when 7,196 tweets per second were published 39 when american singer michael jackson died on june 25 2009 twitter servers crashed after users were updating their status to include the words michael jackson at a rate of 100,000 tweets per hour 40 twitter acquired application developer atebits on april 11 2010 atebits had developed the apple design award-winning twitter client tweetie for the mac and iphone the application now called twitter and distributed free of charge is the official twitter client for the iphone ipad and mac 41 from september through october 2010 the company began rolling out new twitter an entirely revamped edition of twitter.com changes included the ability to see pictures and videos without leaving twitter itself by clicking on individual tweets which contain links to images and clips from a variety of supported websites including youtube flickr as well as a complete overhaul of the interface which shifted links such as mentions and retweets above the twitter stream while messages and log out became accessible via a black bar at the very top of twitter.com as of november 1 2010 the company confirmed that the new twitter experience had been rolled out to all users on april 5 2011 twitter tested a new homepage as well as phased out the old twitter 42 however a glitch came about after the page was launched so the previous retro homepage was still in use until the issues were resolved 43 on april 20 2011 the new homepage was reintroduced though the switch to old twitter option is still available to users 44]

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features twitter has been compared to a web-based internet relay chat irc client 45 tweets are publicly visible by default however senders can restrict message delivery to just their followers users can tweet via the twitter website compatible external applications such as for smartphones or by short message service sms available in certain countries 46 while the service is free accessing it through sms may incur phone service provider fees users may subscribe to other users tweets ­ this is known as following and subscribers are known as followers[47 or tweeps twitter peeps 48 the users can also check the people who are un-subscribing them on twitter better known as unfollowing via various services 49 twitter allows users the ability to update their profile by using their mobile phone either by text messaging or by apps released for certain smartphones tablets 50 in a 2009 time essay technology author steven johnson described the basic mechanics of twitter as remarkably simple 51 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 in june 2008 twitter launched a verification program allowing celebrities to get their accounts verified 52 originally intended to help users verify which celebrity accounts were created by the celebrities themselves and therefore are not fake they have since been used to verify accounts of businesses and accounts for public figures who may not actually tweet but still wish to maintain control over the account that bears their name for example the dalai lama verified accounts can identified by a white check in a blue background known as a verification badge next to the user s full name on the profile itself or next to the name in search results messages users can group posts together by topic or type by use of hashtags ­ words or phrases prefixed with a sign similarly the sign followed by a username is used for mentioning or replying to other users 53 to repost a message from another twitter user and share it with one s own followers the retweet function is symbolized by rt in the message in late 2009 the twitter lists feature was added making it possible for users to follow as well as mention and reply to ad-hoc lists of authors instead of individual authors 47 54 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

[close]

p. 10

those on the vodafone o2[55 and orange[56 networks in india since twitter only supports tweets from bharti airtel 57 an alternative platform called smstweet[58 was set up by a user to work on all networks 59 a similar platform called gladlycast[60 exists for mobile phone users in singapore malaysia and the philippines the messages were initially set to 140-character limit for compatibility with sms messaging introducing the shorthand notation and slang commonly used in sms messages the 140character limit has also increased the usage of url shortening services such as bit.ly goo.gl and tr.im and content-hosting services such as twitpic memozu.com and notepub to accommodate multimedia content and text longer than 140 characters twitter uses its own t.co domain for automatic shortening of all urls posted on its website 61 tweet contents content of tweets according to pear analytics 62 news spam self-promotion pointless babble conversational pass-along value san antonio-based market-research firm pear analytics analyzed 2,000 tweets originating from the us and in english over a two-week period in august 2009 from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm cst and separated them into six categories 62 pointless babble ­ 40 conversational ­ 38 pass-along value ­ 9 self-promotion ­ 6 spam ­ 4 news ­ 4 62]

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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 social grooming and/or peripheral awareness which she explains as persons want[ing to know what the people around them are thinking and doing and feeling even when co-presence isn t viable 63 rankings twitter is ranked as one of the ten-most-visited websites worldwide by alexa s web traffic analysis 64 daily user estimates vary as the company does not publish statistics on active accounts a february 2009 compete.com blog entry ranked twitter as the third most used social network based on their count of 6 million unique monthly visitors and 55 million monthly visits 65 in march 2009 a nielsen.com blog ranked twitter as the fastest-growing website in the member communities category for february 2009 twitter had annual growth of 1,382 percent increasing from 475,000 unique visitors in february 2008 to 7 million in february 2009 it was followed by zimbio with a 240 percent increase and facebook with a 228 percent increase 66 twitter has a user retention rate of forty percent 67]

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