For 15 years, Twitter was a global public forum that fueled revolutions, united communities, and changed the language of the internet.
Initially, no one envisioned Twitter as a global information powerhouse. The name 'Twitter' even implied a brief, inconsequential updates, not something substantial.
In 2007, Twitter gained popularity at South by Southwest Interactive by serving as a real-time chat platform for conference attendees. While it didn't reach the user numbers of Facebook or YouTube, it cultivated a dedicated user base keen on staying informed.
Twitter's real-time, text-based, bite-sized format made it the go-to social media for media, allowing users to document events as they happened, often beating traditional media to the punch.
In 2009 and 2010, uprisings and protests worldwide began to utilize social networking to their advantage, from Iran to Egypt to Ukraine. Social media, especially Twitter, played a pivotal role in organizing and expediting political movements. It enabled these movements to overcome traditional barriers to public protests and turn digital communication into real-world political action.
By 2012, Twitter had over 200 million users and generating 400 million daily tweets. In 2013, it ranked among the world's top ten most-visited websites. By early 2019, Twitter boasted over 330 million monthly active users.
In 2022, Elon Musk’s Twitter takeover shook up Silicon Valley and upended the lives of the people who built Twitter into a hub of global communication.
“In Real Life” dives into the legacy of Twitter and what lies ahead for X and for the next era of social media, and it features insider accounts of Twitter's transformation.
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