Twitter was founded on 21st March 2006 and the first tweet was posted a day later by founder Jack Dorsey. The test message – “just setting up my twttr” – can still be found on the web site – Link.
The service was created by four young entrepreneurs – Jack Dorsey, Biz Stone, Noah Glass and Evan Williams – and, at the beginning, was confined to the people at Odeo, a podcasting company which two of the developers had founded.
Twitter was originally called twttr as evident from the first tweet. This 5-letter name worked well with the American SMS short codes. Six months later, the domain name Twitter.com was purchased and service was renamed to Twitter.
The SMS-based communication service was officially launched on 15th July 2006. It was the first-of-its-kind service on the web – being social networking and microblogging rolled into one.
Twitter didn’t pick up immediately. However, after the 2007 South by Southwest Interactive (SXSWi) conference, the usage jumped manifold. And the rest, as they say, is history.
The ease-of-use and quick dispersal of information has made Twitter the go-to place to check for news and updates. And this is why Twitter usage spikes during prominent events. For instance, on Michael Jackson’s death (25 June 2009), people were posting tweets with the name of the deceased musician at the rate of 100,000 per hour.
Here are a few less-known facts about Twitter:
The first user of the internet was Charley Kline, a student of the University of California, Los Angeles. He sent the first message which consisted of just five characters - "login". It was transmitted over the ARPANET, the network of the Advanced Research Projects Agency and the precursor of the Internet. The message was sent on 29th October 1969 from UCLA's SDS Sigma 7 Host computer to the Stanford Research Institute's SDS 940 Host computer.Technically, at that time, ARPANET wasn't the Internet, as we know it, because it wasn't running the TCP/IP protocol! [more...]