Twitter Reaches 20 Billion Tweets

30 07 2010

This weekend somewhere in the world the 20 billionth tweet will be posted.  That’s quite a staggering volume of content in just four years.  Even more arresting is that fact that it took three years and eight months for the first 10 billion and just four months for the second 10 billion.

Big numbers can be a little difficult to get to get your head around so to give some sense of scale there are approximately on average over 1000 tweets posted every second and over 80 milllion a day.

Tweet number twenty billion will be posted some time a little after 3pm UTC tomorrow, 31st July 2010.  You can follow Gigatweet if you want to see exactly when.

The original name for the service was twttr, inspired by sites like Flickr (and the five character length of US  SMS short codes) Co-founder and current chairman Jack  Dorsey published the first Twitter message on the 21st March 2006 it said  “just setting up my twttr.”   Four months later twitter went public.  Twitter’s popularity took off after the 2007 SXSW event and it’s popularity was boosted by mainstream TV presenters like Oprah in the US and Stephen Fry and Jonathan Ross in the UK.

‘Creep’ Theme for Facebook Film

15 07 2010

The official trailer for the much anticipated Facebook movie ‘The Social Network’ has just been released and it doesn’t look bad.   It took me a few moments to place the haunting theme.   It’s a cover of Radiohead’s Creep (by Belgian act  Scala as it turns out).

“I’m a creep, I’m a weirdo”.  What kind of portrayal of Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg is store I wonder.  The film is released on the 1st October in the United States and on the 15th October in the UK.

Cameron and Zuckerberg Face to Face

9 07 2010

Two weeks ago this blog reported that Mark Zuckerberg and David Cameron had met at Number 10.  In this video conference between the two of them, Cameron confirms that the meeting happened. 

In an extraordinary, albeit somewhat staged discussion, David Cameron demonstrates that he hasn’t forgotten the PR skills that he forged in his early career.  In short, this is a quick chat about crowd sourcing ideas for debt reduction using Facebook.  The British public will be invited to communicate their ideas through a dedicated forum on the number one social network.    This is partly a PR exercise to show just how down with the new channels the new PM is.  He even speaks the lingo “thank you for engaging” he says to Zuckerberg and “it’s all been, up to now, very top down”.

It also shows just how powerful the social networks are becoming.  Not only does Zuckerberg get ‘face time’ with the British Prime Minister for the second time in less than a month he is also given an open invitation to drop by whenever he likes; “next time you are in town come and look us up”.

The World Cup, Hashtags and Monetizing Twitter

7 07 2010

Now that the World Cup is drawing to a close we can consider one of the most notable advances that the competition heralded and it’s not the Vuvuzela or the highly unpredictable Jubulani.

When it all kicked off in South Africa, twitter users discovered a subtle new feature alongside certain hashtags in their twitter streams.  World cup related tags generated tiny icons after the tag;  there were national flags for any tweet using a three letter tag for any of the participating countries and a tiny football for anyone typing the hashtag #worldcup .

This is far more than just a bit of fun. Twitter has unlocked an unobtrusive way of commercializing the twitter stream.  Each of these icons or annotations as they are described by Twitter has an embedded link.  For the world cup it takes you to a fairly anodyne aggregation of tweets albeit in a nicely designed page but these linked icons could take you anywhere and they could be ascribed to any hashtag or keyword on twitter.

At the moment the annotations just appear on but they will start to be included in the API which means they will appear in our favourite twitter clients.  What we are about to see is a deluge of paid for links that might be used to sell music, promote TV shows and sports events, all without polluting the stream.  Back of the net.

Twitter Hits 1000 Tweets per Second

1 07 2010


Twitter has been hovering close to milestone of the 1000 tweets a second for several days and in the last couple of days has broken through the barrier several times.  The number of tweets per second stayed above that figure between 2pm and 4pm UTC on Tuesday and passed it again at a similar time yesterday.

Twitter has also broken through another barrier, clocking up over 2 billion tweets in a month for the first time since its inception.  At midnight last night the figure was over 2.3 billion for June.

I verified the score for June using the unique twitter ID number that ever tweet carries.  These numbers are sequential so it makes the calculation straightforward. At midday on the 1st June Lance Armstrong tweeted “Hello June“.  Clearly this was not the first tweet of the day, but it was good enough for an accurate estimate.  The ID figure of 15162027303 for that tweet suggests that the first tweet in June was close to the 15130000000 mark.  Gigatweet had the last tweet in June at around test number at around 17440000000.   Although claims were made that the two billion barrier was passed in May the actual figure for that month was 1.99 billion.

There were suggestions late last year that Twitter had ‘jumped the shark’ but an apparent stalling in the numbers using was simply caused by users switching to third-party applications.  Gigatweet also estimates that the 20 billionth tweet will be posted in just a month’s time on the 1st August.

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