Twitter (known then as twttr) now boasts more than 200 million active users, who between them send more than 400 million tweets per day. It has grown from one company’s internal SMS-based service to a world-wide network, dominated by celebrities such as Justin Bieber and Lady Gaga, who have 36 and 35 million followers respectively.
However, Twitter has also played a more serious role; for many people, it helped shape global events such as the Arab Spring and the responses to the 2010 Haiti earthquake and 2011 Japanese tsunami.
Top Twitter moments also include: Barack Obama’s tweet after winning his second presidency, the first off-Earth message from the International Space Station and, more recently, the coverage of the papacy – when activity reached an astonishing 130,000 tweets per minute during the announcement of the new Pope.
Twitter, which has been valued by some financial experts at $10 billion (7.75 billion euros), has also had a huge impact on the way businesses and media outlets communicate with their customers, allowing a more immediate and openly public dialogue than Facebook.
The huge success of Twitter has not been without its controversies: it, as well as other social media sites, has been at the centre of privacy disputes, addiction concerns and growing fears over online bullying and hate speech.
Today Twitter released this video to commemorate its seventh birthday.