Twitter has become synonymous with the term 'social media'. It's the go-to corner for the entire world. No more were you reading about the celebrities you loved on some magazine, nor were you watching your favourite sports star work his magic on TV! You were now able to interact with them on an incredibly personal level and tell them exactly how you feel. This is unprecedented and we are heading into a very unpredictable future where one can interact with their idols and even people they hate, online.
But, we're not here to talk about the future. We're here to give you a brief look at the humble beginnings of the social media behemoth known as Twitter. Here's a look at the timeline of how one of the most popular social networks got its start.
Enter Jack Dorsey
Twitter began as just an idea in the mind of Jack Dorsey, way back in 2006. Jack was hired by the company in 2005 as a web designer. The company, at the time, was called Odeo and and was started by a man called Noah Glass. They was trying to make it big in the podcasting industry. One of the first investors in the fledgling company was an ex-Google employee named, Evan Williams. Williams quickly threw himself into the company and also hired another ex-Google employee, Biz Stone, to help him run it.
This is what the origin of Twitter looked like:
By this time, the team was hard at work and moved locations until they settled in an office where the team worked out from. Williams was now the CEO of the company.
The release of iTunes changes the company forever
The ball dropped when Apple decided to launch the revolutionary iTunes software and the problem was that this platform would come with its own features for podcasting. Seeing that the market was slowly going to be taken over by the tech giant, Williams was already one step ahead.
This was where Jack Dorsey stepped in. He had an idea wherein, a user could use an SMS-based interface to send and receive messages from people in real time and that particular message would be displayed publicly. They dubbed the new idea "Twttr" and began setting up the infrastructure needed to take this thing to the next level.
An Earthquake in 2006 helps Twitter get off the ground
The team hammered out a prototype in May of 2006 and when an earthquake hit San Francisco that same year, the news of the disaster spread across the new media platform. By the start of the fall season, the software had already racked up thousands of users. The team now felt like they had a winning product and saw that it was connecting people that would have never met or even known about each other before.
Investors don't even take a second look at Twitter
The next summer, Noah Glass formally presented Twitter to the original Odeo investors and that's when they ran into problems. They faced a lot of apprehension from these investors and so Williams decided to buy the company back from them. Although by now, the team realized that their product has some magic in it.
Even Odeo employees using Twitter were addicted and racking up bills of $400 on just their data plans.
Cell phone service providers were saying that they'd never seen this much activity before! It was right then that the team knew they had something really special.
Dark times ahead
But things were about to take a darker turn. The first thing Evan Williams did when he bought back the company was fire Noah Glass. No one knows why, but they suspect that it might have had to do with their clashing personalities or that Glass wanted too much power and wanted to run Twitter.
Glass and Williams just didn't get along, it seems.
Glass then left with a small percentage of the company but felt betrayed and lost. According to Business Insider, he says:
"I felt betrayed by my friends, by my company, by these people around me I trusted and that I had worked hard to create something with. I was a little shell-shocked. I was like, 'Wait...what's the value in building these relationships if this is the result?' So I spent a lot of time by myself. And working on things alone"
The future isn't done as yet
Well, shitty things happen to good people and there is nothing that can be done about it. Life moves on and so do the memories and people you leave behind. And even without Noah Glass, Twitter was heading towards a bright and profitable future.
The company continued to grow at an unprecedented rate after the departure of Glass. By 2007, they were seeing 400,000 tweets in the first quarter alone. With every passing quarter, the tweets were growing at insane speeds. This numbers continued to pile up and by 2015, the company had a registered 300 million users. 300 million! Good God.
And as history moves forward, we can all see that even though the start of Twitter began on shaky ground, right now, it has essentially conquered the world.
Twitter is now worth an insane $5 billion and estimates seem to push that figure up to $10 billion if it continues this way for the foreseeable future.
Feature Image Source: techinfographics.com