Twitter is a social media and communication site on which users post and interact with messages known as “tweets”. Twitter was created in March 2006 by Jack Dorsey, Noah Glass, Biz Stone, and Evan Williams and launched in July of that year. The company is based in San Francisco, California, and has more than 25 offices around the world.
Twitter’s was born of a “daylong brainstorming session” held by board members of the podcasting company Odeo. Jack Dorsey, then an undergraduate student at New York University, introduced the idea of an individual using an SMS service to communicate with a small group.1 The original project name was twttr, inspired by Flickr and the five-character length of American SMS short codes. The decision was also partly due to the fact that the domain twitter.com was already in use, and it was six months after the launch of twttr that the crew purchased the domain and changed the name of the service to Twitter.2
Tweets were originally restricted to 140 characters, but on November 7, 2017, this limit was doubled to 280 for all languages except Chinese, Japanese, and Korean.3 Registered users can post, like, and retweet tweets, but unregistered users can only read them. Users access Twitter through its website interface or its mobile apps.
In 2012, more than 100 million users posted 340 million tweets a day,4 and the service handled an average of 1.6 billion search queries per day. In 2013, it was one of the ten most-visited websites and has been described in Business Standard as “the SMS of the Internet”.5
The company also owns the short form video platform Vine and livestreaming service Periscope. Notable investors include Kleiner Perkins, Benchmark, Slow Ventures, Insight Partners, Spark Capital, Institutional Venture Partners, DFJ Growth, Lowercase Capital, and G Squared.