How the World Has Changed in the 5 Years Since Twitter Began

BlogHer Original Post

Twitter turns 5 today. In its short but eventful history it has changed the way we communicate, brand, promote/advertise, network, share, organize, and take action.

According to CNN, the first tweet went out from Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey on March 21, 2006. The message was "inviting coworkers."

In 5 years, Twitter has gained about 200 million users, managed to turn a profit, and is still privately held with a value estimated in the billions of dollars.

It seems only appropriate that a few Twitter users should convey the birthday wishes for me.

Happy Birthday, #Twitter! Hope you are still around in another 5 years!Mon Mar 21 15:37:21 via Seesmic Desktop

Happy Birthday #Twitter! You know I love youMon Mar 21 15:37:47 via web

#Twitter turns 5? Where did the time go? Does that mean I have to walk you to the bus stop now with a packed lunch? (via @alyssa_milano)Mon Mar 21 14:52:57 via web

Twitter provided some impressive stats in their Twitter blog post #numbers.

Today, on every measure of growth and engagement, Twitter is growing at a record pace. Here are some numbers:


  • 3 years, 2 months and 1 day. The time it took from the first Tweet to the billionth Tweet.
  • 1 week. The time it now takes for users to send a billion Tweets.
  • 50 million. The average number of Tweets people sent per day, one year ago.
  • 140 million. The average number of Tweets people sent per day, in the last month.
  • 77 million. Tweets sent on March 11, 2011.
  • 456. Tweets per second (TPS) when Michael Jackson died on June 25, 2009 (a record at that time).
  • 6,939. Current TPS record, set 4 seconds after midnight in Japan on New Year’s Day.


  • 572,000. Number of new accounts created on March 12, 2011.
  • 460,000. Average number of new accounts per day over the last month.
  • 182%. Increase in number of mobile users over the past year.

Francesca at Female Imagination used the birthday to give a brief history of Twitter, and concluded,

The success is sort of shocking, considering that most information-overloaded people believe they have no desire to invite hundreds of new messages onto their mobile phones. Yet once started, many people find Twitter strangely addictive, to say nothing of useful.

I always like to say, You don't get it until you get it, but once you "get" Twitter, you're hooked for good.

Twitter created a special site - for the birthday party, where some Twitter users are featured in this video telling how and why they use it.

In case you're not already following the famous folks featured in the video, provides links to each of their accounts.

So happy birthday to you, Twitter. And congratulations on being one of the good guys flowing in the river of information.

Virginia DeBolt writes about web design education and web technology at Web Teacher. She creates a daily writing prompt at First 50 Words.


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