10 Things You May Not Know About Twitter

1. Twttr

The original product name/codename for the service was named twttr; inspired by Flickr and the fact that American SMS short codes are five characters. The developers prototyped with “10958” as short code, later changing it to 40404″ for ease of use and memorability.

2. First Tweet

Its top secret Alpha version was launched on March 21 2006 and Jack Dorsey was the first to post a tweet – “just setting up my twttr” at 12:50 pm Pacific time.

3. Evan Williams’ Birthday

Twttr beta was launched on Twitter’s CEO Evan Williams’ birthday.

4. Fail Whale

When Twitter experiences an outage, users see the “fail whale” error message created by Australian artist and designer Yiying Lu, a whimsical illustration of red birds using nets to hoist a whale from the ocean. The message reads: “Too many tweets! Please wait a moment and try again.” But why 8 birds and not 10 or 15?

Well, it’s rumored that because there are 8 Sun X4100s servers powering Twitter in its early days. (Of course, there are now more than 8 servers to handle millions of users tweeting simultaneously. The fail whale image was implemented on 2007.)

5. More Females Than Males

Females make up 55 per cent of the entire Twitterverse whereas males 45 per cent, according to statistics from Quantcast.

6. More Affluent

Again grabbing statistics from Quantcast, Twitter attracts a more affluent audience, of which 30% of them have a household income of $100k+.

7. No. of Tweets Posted

Till date, millions of users have posted more than 12 billion tweets, according to GigaTweet.

8. 75% of All Traffic Comes From Outside Twitter.com

Biz Stone revealed on April 14 during Twitter’s Chirp conference for developers that one quarter of all traffic comes from Twitter.com whereas the remaining 75 per cent comes from third-party applications such as TweetDeck, Twitterrific, Tweetie, Echofon, etc.

9. @reply

Twitter didn’t actually invent the @ mechanism within their service. People started using it to specify that a tweet was directed to a certain person back in late 2006, and Twitter didn’t add official support for it until much, much later.

In 2006 –

Today –

10. If Twitter Were A Country…

Biz Stone announced two weeks ago during the Chirp conference that Twitter has 105,779,710 registered users, and is adding around two million new profiles per week (300,000 per day). If Twitter were a country, it would be the the 12th most populated, beating the Philippines (92 million) but tailing behind Mexico (107 million).