28 December 2011

Twitter's Major Landmarks in 2011

Twitter, the social networking and micro blogging service has gained unusual popularity as the ‘SMS of the Internet’.  Twitter became the epicenter for all the global events, with the users giving updates every minute on the happenings all over the world. This social media created history as it played a major role in building momentum for many of modern-world revelations and was at times misused to encourage violence. 2011 has been an eventful year and here are those major milestones the micro-blogging website has gone through this year as listed by mashable.com.

Egypt blocked Twitter as protests turned violent:  In January, thousands of anti-government protesters were seen having a clash with the police in Cairo and other cities. The Egyptian government then blocked Twitter as protestors used it as their means to coordinate movements and posted the videos and pictures.

Twitter’s fifth birthday: In March, Twitter launched a new website, discover.twitter.com for its fifth birthday. The website features 16 different users from different backgrounds including entertainment, politics, business and astronautics. The list included well known personalities and celebrities like Serena Williams, Richard Branson, Snoop Dogg, John Boehner and Paolo Nespoli. They also launched a YouTube video with the 16 featured tweeters discussing who they follow and what value Twitter brings in their lives. The video had interviews featuring Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, UFC President Dana White and more.

Twitter Brings Local Trends to 70 More Locations: In April, Twitter extended its Local Trends feature to 70 more cities and countries, including South Africa, Jakarta, Japan, Kuala Lumpur and Santiago. This allowed users in more than 100 international locations to discover the trending topics in their region.

Twitter Acquires TweetDeck: In May, Twitter acquired one of the most widely used third-party Twitter applications, TweetDeck. “TweetDeck provides brands, publishers, marketers and others with a powerful platform to track all the real-time conversations they care about,” said Twitter CEO, Dick Costolo. The price of the acquisition is estimated to be around $40 million.

Twitter Launches Follow Button for Websites: Twitter also launched a ‘Follow’ button which enables users to subscribe to the Twitter feeds of companies and individuals directly from their websites. Prior to this users could only follow other Twitter users from the Twitter website.

Twitter Unveils Photo & Video Sharing: In June, the website finally launched its own version that would connect photos and videos to the tweets without having to leave the website, unlike the earlier version where the service was handled by third-parties like Twitpic and Yfrog. At the D9 conference Costolo said that Twitter will also “surface the most popular videos and tweets” in a new section of the homepage.

Twitter.com adds content from Amazon, Foursquare, Meetup & More: In June, new social tools like AOL video, Foursquare, Amazon Meetup, Plancast and Gowalla were integrated with Twitter.com, allowing the users to access more multimedia content without having to leave the site. Twitter is in the process of rolling out more integration for the future.

Twitter surpasses 200 million tweets per Day: In June again, Twitter users made a mark as users sent 200 million tweets per day. As per calculations, 200 million tweets per day would be enough to write a 10 million page book or 8,163 copies of War and Peace. 2,400 tweets were sent every second through Twitter’s servers, enough for 1.4 billion tweets per week. Twitter had surpassed the 50 million tweets per day record in 2010.

Twitter valued at $7 billion: Twitter’s value doubled from $3.7 billion in December 2010 to $7 billion in July 2011, says a report from Wall Street Journal. The increase in valuation was credited to the growing number of revenue streams. It was seen that Twitter introduced promoted tweets and trends last year, which proved to be the company’s first notable revenue source

Twitter adds an activity stream: In August Twitter added two new activity-centric features “@[username]” and “Activity.” The @username tab is more of a personal notifications dashboard. It includes tweets directed at users through @replies, highlights favorite tweets and re-tweeted tweets and includes new follower notifications. The Activity tab showcases the same actions - re-tweets, favorites and follows but it pertains only to the individuals a user follows.

Twitter has 100 million active users: Costolo said “Twitter has 100 million active users logging in at least once a month and 50 million active users every day.”  He also added that exactly half of them log in monthly, which is 82 percent up since the beginning of the year. The website sees 400 million visitors a month.

Twitter Releases Web Analytics Tool: In September, Twitter unveiled the Twitter Web Analytics which is a tool that gives website owners more data on the effectiveness of their Twitter integrations. It measures the amount of traffic their websites receive from Twitter. It mainly helps to gauge how much of their content is being shared on Twitter, how much traffic Twitter is sending their way and how well Tweet Buttons are performing.

Twitter Now Available in New Languages: Twitter also launched its service in new languages such as Chinese, Hindi, Tagalog and Malay. The total number of available languages now is 17. This year it also added Dutch and Indonesian to its list of languages.

Twitter Opens New York Office on Madison Avenue: In October, Twitter Co-founder Jack Dorsey along with New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced the opening of the company’s first New York office. The company’s new headquarters is located at 340 Madison Avenue which was the former location of the Facebook office.

Twitter Unleashes Embeddable Tweets: Twitter unleashed the embeddable tweets, which allows users to embed tweets on their websites using a one-line code, and lets visitors to reply, re-tweet without leaving the site. It introduced an entirely new look for its website, mobile apps and TweetDeck this December. The new design has tweets to the right side of the page and includes three new buttons on the top of the page - Home, @Connect and #Discover. @Connect shows as to who has mentioned you in a tweet and gives you suggestions of accounts to follow. #Discover shows the trend and directs you to important stories and videos.