Twitter turns the big one-five

July 30, 2021
by Mark Ollig

In July 2006, a new no-cost, Short Message Service (SMS) texting platform began operating in San Francisco.

SMS wasn’t new in 2006.

Dec. 3, 1992, an engineer named Neil Papwort sent the first test SMS message using his personal computer. He sent the message “Merry Christmas” to a friend’s mobile cellphone.

Today, you and I commonly send SMS instant text messages over our smartphones to friends, family, and co-workers.

Digressing back to July 2006, while having lunch in a city park, Odeo employee Jack Dorsey proposed to his colleagues a new and effective method for sending text messaging updates among large groups of people using mobile phones and online computers.

Odeo was a podcasting aggregator technology collecting news for redistribution onto websites.

Dorsey and Isaac “Biz” Stone built the new text-based messaging prototype they originally named Twttr.

It was spelled, “Twttr”, with no vowels because folks, in the beginning, used it just between mobile devices, and the SMS five-character shortcode 89887 spelled “twttr.”

The tweeting amongst the birds in the park partly inspired the name given to this new texting service.

Its first text message sent by engineer Jack Dorsey read, “just setting up my twttr.”

Six months after Twttr started, its name changed to today’s familiar Twitter, because someone else previously obtained the 89887 SMS shortcode name (twttr).

Noah Glass, who founded Odeo, chose the name Twitter.

According to Merriam Webster’s online dictionary, the word “twitter” means “to utter successive chirping noises – to utter in chirps or twitters – to talk in a chattering fashion.”

So, chirping birds inspired today’s text “tweets” over the Twitter online social media platform.

At the start, engineers set Twitter messages at a maximum of 140 characters in length to fit inside the limits of a mobile phone text message; today, it is 280 characters in a single tweet message.

Ruby is a high-level application framework software operating on Twitter’s web server.

Twitter also uses the general-purpose C++ programming code, in addition to JAVA and Scala.

The US is the country with the most significant number of Twitter users, at 73 million. Japan follows with 54 million, and the UK has 18 million.

Twitter originally asked its users to tweet messages about what they are doing.

Today, there are 206 million daily active users on Twitter.

Worldwide, those 25 to 34 years old make up the largest share of Twitter users.

In the US, those aged 18 to 29 make up 42 percent of our country’s Twitter population, while people 30 to 49 hold 27 percent. Folks 50 to 64 make up 18 percent, and those 65 or better come in at 7 percent.

While Twitter has 322 million users worldwide and gets a lot of press coverage, it is overshadowed by Facebook, with its 2.8 billion users. YouTube follows with 2.3 billion users.

One of the earliest Minnesota Twitter articles I found is from Jan. 27, 2007, Minneapolis Star Tribune, in a column by James Lileks titled “Do you Twitter? You will.”

The hashtag (#) feature on Twitter (which groups tweets by subject) made its first appearance in August 2007. A Twitter user thought of the hashtag idea.

The 2020 statistics show users sent more than 200 billion Twitter messages, with 700 million being politically related.

San Francisco, CA is Twitter’s primary location, with employees working in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and the state of Washington.

At the end of 2020, Twitter employed 5,500 people. Its web page is http://www.twitter.com.

In addition to tweeting about what we are doing, the leading reason found for being on Twitter these days, based on its usage, is to get news and information.

Each online minute, 319 new Twitter users are registered.

As of March 2021, former president Barack Obama is the most followed Twitter user, with 130 million followers.

You can see the original 2006 Twitter logo saved in my photobucket at https://bit.ly/3rxd0Q8.

Be sure to visit my online weblog at https://bitscolumn.blogspot.com.

Happy 15th anniversary Twitter; you show no signs of slowing down.

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