Twitter, the online social networking platform that enables users to send and read 140-character messages called “tweets”, celebrates 9 years today. Happy Birthday, Twitter!

Users access Twitter through the website interface, SMS, or mobile device apps. Register, and you can read and “tweet” posts and pictures. Though unregistered users can only read tweets, they get indexed by search engines and are often the first source of breaking news worldwide. If you want to get granular, users can search for information and topics via keywords and hashtags. More on that later.

Twitter Inc. is based in San Francisco, CA with offices around the world extending their physical reach and clout. Created in March 2006 by Jack Dorsey, Evan Williams, Biz Stone and Noah Glass, Twitter officially launched in July 2006. By 2013, Twitter was one of the ten most-visited websites and as of December 2014, has more than 500 million users, out of which more than 284 million are active users. Not too shabby!

According to Wikipedia, the tipping point for Twitter’s popularity was the 2007 South by Southwest Interactive (SXSWi) conference. During the event, Twitter usage increased from 20,000 tweets per day to 60,000. “The Twitter people cleverly placed two 60-inch plasma screens in the conference hallways, exclusively streaming Twitter messages,” remarked Newsweek’s Steven Levy. “Hundreds of conference-goers kept tabs on each other via constant twitters. Panelists and speakers mentioned the service, and the bloggers in attendance touted it.”[Source-Wikipedia]

Another milestone for the company was its IPO. On November 7, 2013, Twitter shares opened on the NYSE at $26.00 and closed above the initial offering price at US$44.90 resulting in a company valuation of around $31 billion.

And how is BarCamp connected to all this? We’re glad you asked! According to readwrite.com and Chris Messina’s own website, http://chrismessina.me, #barcamp was the very first hashtag. Tweeted by Messina in 2007, the #barcamp hashtag connected folks who wanted to follow conversations about “global technology unconference gatherings called barcamp.” You can check out that tweet right here: https://twitter.com/chrismessina/status/223115412

Twitter-Hashtag-Chris-Messina

So, #happybirthday Twitter! And thank you Chris Messina for your innovation and contributions to Twitter, the hashtag, BarCamp, Open Source, and the many other projects you’ve lent your time and talents to.

And while we’re talking about BarCamp, don’t forget to register for DaVinci’s Faire and BarCamp 2015, BarCamp Sarasota-Bradenton’s annual Un-Conference. It runs both Saturday, April 11 & Sunday, April 12 this year. Need more information? Read up on our DaVinci’s Faire and BarCamp 2015 post. See you there!