Twitter at Year Five

Twitter has had a transformational effect on many individuals and businesses. Five years ago this week, the service launched as Jack Dorsey (@jack) sent the first Tweet.

Here is Twitter by the numbers, courtesy of the Twitter blog:


  • 3 years, 2 months and 1 day. The time it took from the first Tweet to the billionth Tweet.
  • 1 week. The time it now takes for users to send a billion Tweets.
  • 50 million. The average number of Tweets people sent per day, one year ago.
  • 140 million. The average number of Tweets people sent per day, in the last month.
  • 177 million. Tweets sent on March 11, 2011.
  • 456. Tweets per second (TPS) when Michael Jackson died on June 25, 2009 (a record at that time).
  • 6,939. Current TPS record, set 4 seconds after midnight in Japan on New Year’s Day.


  • 572,000. Number of new accounts created on March 12, 2011.
  • 460,000. Average number of new accounts per day over the last month.
  • 182%. Increase in number of mobile users over the past year.


  • 8. 29. 130. 350. 400. Number of Twitter employees in Jan 2008, Jan 2009, Jan 2010, Jan 2011 and today.

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  • Increase in percentage of spam twitter users fudging the numbers.. OVER 9000%

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  • That is staggering Mark. I look at these numbers and I am just amazed at Twitter’s growth. To think of the people that are still not on Twitter because they think there is nothing of relevance here says much more about them than it does about Twitter.

    I had to do some Facebook training with one of our bosses a few days ago, and went over a few numbers on Facebook with him. I am amazed at Twitter’s growth in one way, and in another way I am not surprised. These are great statistics to use for those who are reluctant to use Twitter. it shows consistent growth, and it shows what we knew all along – real news breaks on Twitter faster than it does on the news services.

    Great post Mark.

  • Actually, I think Twitter has done a fair job cracking down on spammers. Around the summer of 2009 it was so bad it threatened to bring the whols service down. Thanks.

  • I think one of the reasons ther is a lot of resistantce to Twitter is because it can be very intimidating. All theose hashtags and @ signs can be confusing to people. That’s the reason I wrote my book The Tao of Twitter and it seems to be working! It’s a quick read and people can cut the learning curve. MIght even work for your boss : )

  • Guest

    Hey, what’s going to be interesting going forward is to see how they will be able to capitalize on this growth and actually make money. But, perhaps they won’t as someone will buy them and have to figure that out. In the meantime, it appears as though selling the data to analytic services is where they are seeing the most revenue growth. I can only wonder how long that gravy train will continue since they’ve now put the stake in the ground that says Social Media data (at least theirs) is no longer free! Most certainly by cutting out all of the application product developers that helped Twitter become what it is sends a very clear message that the data users create is the property of Twitter to be used / controlled / sold as they wish. Are they becoming “anti social” as they mature?

  • Wow Mark, these numbers give you a bit of perspective of just how many people/companies are using Twitter.

    Now if they can figure out how to make some dough, that would be a good thing. It’s hard to imagine the future without Twitter.

    Over the last few years, it’s become an outlet that is as natural to my business as accounting or legal. It’s an invaluable communication platform and my connection to fabulous people throughout the world.

    Thanks for the perspective.

  • All good questions. Thanks!

  • Wow, that’s a powerful testimony Mark. I think they will make money without question. They have dominated the space, raised the switching costs, and are providing unique value. That seems like a recipe for success!

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