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9 Stunning New Facts About Twitter

Oct 18, 2011 3 min readNews and Trends

Twitter CEO Dick Costolo revealed nine stunning new facts about Twitter during an interview at the Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco just a few hours ago (Monday, October 17.)

1. Twitter Is Growing 300% Faster…Thanks To “Mentor” Apple Buffer this

iOS 5 Integration Made Signups Increase 3x, Costolo said. Signups began jumping on the first day of iOS 5′s availability, October 12.

“Those guys [at Apple] are an amazing partner for us. When they think about products and enhancing products they think about editing them,” Costolo said. “[At Twitter] we’re going to offer simplicity in a world of complexity… they’re a corporate mentor to us.”

2. You Will Be Able To Access All Your Old Tweets And DMs Buffer this

As the final question at the Summit, O’Reilly writer Alex Howard asked when Twitter users will be able to access their Twitter histories, “I’ve got 49,119 tweets and 1/4 as many DMs, if Google has a Data Liberation Front, and 30% of your team is former Googlers, shouldn’t you guys be working on something similar?”

“It’s just a matter of priorities,” Costolo said, after joking, “You had to allow one more question.”

He said Twitter will “…get to the point when you’ll be able to…access old Tweets and old DMs.”

3. Video Ads Coming To Twitter Buffer this

Costolo said Twitter ads are “Working better than we could have ever hoped.” Twitter started with Promoted Tweets, followed up with Promoted Trends, and then began putting promoted Tweets in user timelines.

In the near future the plan is for photo and video-based advertising to appear in user timelines. Twitter’s CEO stressed that Twitter isn’t about to insert movie trailers into the timeline…yet.

They’re planning to experiment with lots of different ad formats that could be adopted across all users, depending on how users react.

4. Twitter Now Sends 250 Million Tweets Per Day, Up 177% Buffer this

From 90 million tweets per day a year ago to 100 million at the beginning of this year, Twitter is now serving a quarter billion tweets each day That’s more than a million tweets every 6 minutes!

Even if you could read a tweet a second, and you never slept, that means just a single day’s worth tweets would take you nearly eight years to read!

Just for fun, I calculated that if you counted backwards 250 million minutes from today

…it would be the year 1535!

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5. More Than Half Of Twitter Users Now Active Buffer this

At the beginning of 2011, less than a third of Twitter users were active on the service once per day: 30% of its 100 million users active daily in January 2011

Today, over 50% of Twitter users are active every day, a jump of 67% in user activity since January.

6. Twitter To Be On 2 billion Devices Worldwide Buffer this

Costolo said that he thinks Twitter can be on 2 billion devices around the world.

He said Twitter can “reach every person on the planet, and the way to do that is through simplifying.”

7. $2.3 Million Invested Per Twitter Employee, $1.6 billion in TotalBuffer this

Twitter now has over 700 employees and $1.6 billion in funding. Wow!

8. Twitter Preparing to Pay People To Tweet Buffer this

Costolo talked about sharing revenue with Twitter users that have popular and interesting tweets.

However, he pointed out that the pay-per-tweet model would NOT be the one they would follow. “Our thoughts are a little more nuanced [than paying for each tweet],” he said, adding that Twitter would have a “narrow set of publishers we would do that with.”

9. Twitter is now worth $8 BILLION Buffer this

When asked about the company’s valuation, Costolo said “Let’s just call it an even $8 billion.” Wow.

10. Bonus! Twitter Will Protect Users From Governments Buffer this

“One of our core values is respect and the need to defend the user’s voice,” Costolo explained. “In the case of the London riots…the majority of the tweets were more about organising cleans ups [rather than inciting violence].” Citing the motto of the company’s General Counsel, he said: “We are the free speech wing of the free speech party.”

Costolo cited a recent case where the US Government ordered Twitter to disclose the IP addresses and user information about four accounts linked to the Wikileaks affair.

“We went back of our own accord and argued for the right to let those four people know that their information was being requested so that they could fight it,” he stated.
“We provided these users with the ability to fight this request and I think a bunch of them are still doing so…That’s how we will behave in those cases where we can.”

Twitter sure has grown! What do you think of some of these changes? We’d love to discuss these changes with you in the comments below.

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