As you can see from the timeline, Twitter has grown quite a bit from its inception in 2006. In the beginning, Twitter (or Twttr) was created with hopes of being able to send a text message to a group of people. And now on any given day in March, there were about 460,000 accounts created.
Over the course of five years, Twitter has been used in many ways. As a social media marketing platform, Twitter has flourished. Companies have credited increased sales to the use of Twitter, and the ways customer service has certainly changed. Journalists and news organizations have broken hard-hitting news on Twitter. Just look at the most powerful tweets of 2010: After the January 2010 earthquake in Haiti, Ann Curry, a reporter, used Twitter to convince the U.S. Air Force to allow a Doctors without Borders flight to land.
Celebrities have embraced Twitter as a way to connect with fans and share news themselves, without the news organizations. Political figures have managed their own Twitter accounts to answer questions and be more available to the public. People and companies who were sometimes hard to reach are now easily accessible. These are all milestones that have been achieved by sending 140-character messages.
But what amazes me most about Twitter are the milestones that are happening among regular people every single day: like connecting with an old friend, making a new one, finding the job of your dreams or learning something you might not have learned otherwise.
Twitter has most certainly changed my life. I found out about a scholarship contest hosted by Vertical Measures from a tweet, and I won! A few months later, I saw a tweet promoting the internship program here. A month later I was hired, and the rest is history. And not only did I land a scholarship and a job through my use of Twitter, I’ve made about 400 Phish-loving friends by joining a Twibe (a group of people with a similar interest).
I asked my followers, “How has Twitter changed your life?” And the answers were across the board.
Twitter is not only an information sharing engine, but it is a way for others to connect with like minded people that you may not have known otherwise. It is a learning tool. It is a way to record your life. It is a way for brands and businesses to reach their target audience. It is an inspiration to many, and has become a way of life for some. And after five years of typing and texting 140-character messages, people are posting a billion tweets a week.
How has Twitter affected your life?
For more information about how Twitter can help you or your brand, check out my new eBook, Twitter for Business: A How-To Guide. In the book I detail Twitter basics, developing a strategy, measuring ROI and more.