Seven years of tweets #Twitter7

As the Twittersphere celebrates the social media platform's seventh birthday, we share a few fascinating Twitter facts and stats

Today is Twitter’s seventh birthday.


The blue bird is still three years off double figures but, oh, how it’s grown. When Twitter first spread its wings in 2007 its proud creators could never have guessed that the platform, which makes us share in a short and sweet 140 characters, would have become the global, news dominating phenomenon that it is today.

In 2013 Twitter is an up to the minute source, allowing its millions of users to share anything from celeb scandal and football scores to serious breaking news. Celebrities, politicians (George Osbourne included) and even the Pope has twitter, as well as us ordinary folk too.

We head to Twitter to post pictures of what we had for lunch, tell the world our opinions on current affairs and chat with friends, as well as strangers, about last night’s telly. As Radio Times columnist Sarah Millican wisely says: “It’s always there. A link to the world. To tell me which celebs have died or show me a video of a monkey on a pig.”

So to celebrate seven years of our favourite social media platform, here a few fascinating Twitter facts:

The first ever tweet was sent into the Twittersphere by co-founder Jack Dorsey on 21 March 2007. This is what he said:

And, no, Jack didn’t forget to spell check. When our beloved Twitter first burst onto the scene, it was actually known as twttr. Mainly because the social media’s founders couldn’t afford to buy from a bird lover who was using it…

From humble beginnings, eh? In the last seven years Twitter has gone from having one lonely user to over 200 million active users. And between us we now send over 400 million tweets each day. (That’s a LOT of procrastination…)

10 million of those active users hail from the UK and around half of Twitter users are from America.

While a lot of us are contributing to the 400 million tweets sent out each day, 40% of Twitter users don’t actually tweet. Either they are just watching the rest of us jabber on, or they are still trying to come up with the perfect 140 character entrance…

The first #hashtag was used in August 2007. Its first foray was fairly boring, but the concept has gone on to dominate the world of Twitter, and other social media platforms too. Some annoying people also now use the word hashtag in conversation.

Twitter’s Trending Topics feature was introduced in September 2008. This useful feature quickly highlights important news and also less important news like the recent demise of Justin Bieber’s hamster

The Collins Oxford Dictionary first included the word Twitter as a verb and a noun in its 2009 30th anniversary edition. They also included the word Twitterati to describe those constant tweeters amongst us.

Forget going global, in January 2012 Twitter went where no tweet had gone before: space. The first ever tweet from outside the Earth’s atmosphere said…

The 1 billionth tweet was sent in May 2009, 3 years, 2 months and 1 day after Twitter launched. We now rack up an impressive 1 billion tweets every two and a half days.

According to a study carried out by Beevolve, women make up 53% of users. And apparently these women’s profiles are most likely to have purple backgrounds. Interesting stuff.

Most Twitter users have less than 50 followers. But some tweeters out there are blessed with many, many more…

Justin Beiber is the most followed person on Twitter with 36,258,685 followers. Lady Gaga is a close second with 35,158,014 while Katy Perry, Rihanna and Barack Obama make up the rest of the top five.

Unfortunately Radio Times trails a little way behind with just over 28,000. (But if you like, you can click here and make that number go up!)

Twitter’s most popular tweet to date was retweeted over 811,000 times. That tweet belongs to Barack Obama who tweeted this picture to celebrate winning another term as US president.


Watch Twitter’s birthday video, charting important moments in the social media platform’s seven year history…