According to a National Post interview with Twitter Co-creator, Don Sagolla, Twitter evolved from the mind of fellow Co-creator, now Chairman, Jack Dorsey in March, 2006. Dorsey wanted to find a way to enable people to send information condensed to 140 characters in real time by way of text messaging.
As of March 2012, the company has over 140 million registered users sending over 340 million daily tweets. Micro-blogging has since become a national phenomenon for the famous and not-so famous alike. Twitter, for example, played in integral role in helping to elect President Barack Obama. All public Tweets are even archived by the United States Library of Congress. Earlier, in June 2008, NASA tweeted “We have ICE…” to quickly tell the world what the Mars Rover had discovered on Martian soil. Biz Stone, Twitter Co-Founder, stated in an email interview with the Post, he knew the potential for real-time alerts and how it affected people was great when during a San Francisco earthquake, friends were “asking each other if they were OK.”
One of the most notable lows of Twitter came in 2008 when it failed to sustain its spurting growth of users. The “Fail Whale” image became a familiar graphic for users until Twitter upgraded its application to support its loyal following and make way for new users. Thankfully, Twitter worked out its kinks and today, continues to thrive.
Over the past 6 years, the company has skyrocketed on the technology road to success way beyond its early days of status update and profiles. Its messaging technology is now the communication standard of which even Microsoft Corporation’s Bing and Google search engine technology have incorporated. In 2006, Co-founder, Evan Williams, who also created Blogger and fellow Co-Founder Biz Stone saw the potential for so much more to do with text messaging, as it was new to most Americans at that time. Twitter has since taken text messaging to an expanded level by making the application more personalized for its users. Today, it allows people to “follow their interests” according to Twitter, Co-Founder, Biz Stone.
While millions of users follow thousands of people, helping them better manage their information remains a constant challenge for Twitter. Its future evolution is based on how well it can integrate its graphic user interface with new features that further personalize each individual’s preferences. One such effort is evident in its addition of its new “Discover” section. This new feature helps users locate more tweets that are relevant to their personal preferences.
More evolutionary changes are in store for Twitter, including acquisitions of companies that can help further their goals. In January 2012, for example, Twitter recently acquired Summify, the tool that was developed to connect all of your social site feeds. Summify also summarizes updates and news stories based on your preferences, somewhat like a customized e-newspaper. Summify itself isn’t really going away. According to its blog post, it states that its partnering with Twitter by joining the “Twitter Growth [Team].” Unfortunately; however, for current Summify users, the application will be dismantled as certain features may be incorporated into Twitter’s main application. In consolation, Summify users who’ve come to rely on the application can turn to once Summify competitive sites like News.com, or others like it. This is a positive move for Twitter though, as the acquisition supports its future goals of evolving into the ultimate user-preference communication site.
Posterous was also acquired by Twitter in early 2012. A competitor to Tumblr, Posterous created the sharing platform, Spaces, that allows users to share photos privately. Again, Twitter boldly lets everyone know — as identified in a recent post –, “We’re always looking for talented people who have the passion and personality to join Twitter.” It goes on to state the reasoning behind its strategy: “Acquisitions have given us people and technology that have enabled us to more quickly build a better Twitter for you.”
As Twitter grows, its future evolutionary goals seem clear: To be the ultimate micro-blogging, information-gathering communication site preference of the world. Its chances are good if it continues to mirror the pace of technology. As technology evolves, Twitter must evolve right along with it.
Financial Post: FP Tech Desk – Twitter at Five: The Story of Twitter’s Beginnings: Matt Hartley
TechCrunch: Six-Year Old Twitter Now Has 140M Active Users Sending 340M Tweets Per Day: Leena Rao
AppAdvice: The Future Of Twitter and News: Down the Algortithmic Rabbit Hole: Jamie Young
ReadWriteWeb: Twitter Buys Summify for the Next 500 Million Users: Jon Mitchell
Summify: Summify Joins the Flock At Twitter
ReadWriteWeb: The Story of the Fail Whale – How An Unknown Artists Work Became an Social Media Brand Thanks to Power of Community: Sarah Perez
TechCrunch: Posterous Finds a Home in the Arms of Twitter