Happy 5th Birthday @Twitter: A Look at Twitter’s Growth by the Numbers

Five years ago, Twitter’s @Jack published the very first Tweet, the first of billions of Tweets that would eventually change the way millions of people share, learn, and communicate.

Five years ago, Twitter’s @Jack published the very first Tweet, the first of billions of Tweets that would eventually change the way millions of people share, learn, and communicate. While other news media (Twitter included) report that Jack’s first Tweet simply stated, “inviting coworkers” — the first tweet on record by @jack actually read, “just setting up my twttr.” That same Tweet was published by all employees at a time when Twitter was actually known as Twttr.


In five short years, the service has come a long way, earning a reported 200+ million users (and bots) and a market valuation of $8 — $10 billion.

What’s far more eminent however is not everything Twitter’s attained to date, its promise and legacy lies in all that it has yet to fulfill. Not only will it continue to change how we discover and interact, Twitter will continue to shape culture, the nature of relationships, and also further democratize business and media to revolve around the EGOsystem. The global real-time water cooler is changing the dynamics of media and “we the people” are now becoming part of the story. Perhaps where we will see Twitter’s greatest impact is in the cooperation between societies and governments. Any network that can bring an audience to an impassioned voice on demand will overpower any organization’s attempt to suppress it. Twitter’s inherent ability to unite voices, engender empathy and trigger action is nothing short of #revolutionary.

To mark the occasion, let’s take a look at Twitter by the #numbers:

It took 3 years, 2 months and 1 day to hit 1 billion Tweets. Now it only takes 1 week for Twitter to syndicate 1 billion Tweets — although most of them lately will probably include mentions of Charlie Sheen, Rebecca Black, or Justin Bieber.

In February 2011, daily Tweets averaged 140 million (140 FTW) almost 3x the 50 million Tweets sent every day this time last year. On March 11th in the wake of Japan’s devastating earthquake and tsunami, Tweets flew to 177 million.

On New Year’ Day 2011, 4 seconds after passing midnight in Japan, a new Tweets Per Second (TPS) record was set at 6,939.


While the exact number of users is elusive, Twitter reports that 572,000 accounts were created on March 12, 2011. 460,000 new accounts were created each day on average in February 2011.

Mobile use of Twitter is booming, growing 182% in the last year.

In tribute to Twitter on its fifth birthday, I would like to toast Jack Dorsey, Evan Williams, Biz Stone, Dick Costolo, along with all my other friends including Ryan Sarver, Chloe Sladden, Erica Anderson, Sean Garrett, Carolyn Penner, et al. Cheers!

Update: Twitter debuts a new video to commemorate the occassion…

Reprinted from

Brian Solis is the author of Engage and is one of most provocative thought leaders and published authors in new media. A digital analyst, sociologist, and futurist, Solis’s research and ideas have influenced the effects of emerging media on the convergence of marketing, communications, and publishing. Follow him on Twitter @BrianSolis, YouTube, or at



About the author

Brian Solis is the author of The End of Business as Usual, a book that explores the changing consumer landscape, its impact on business, and what companies can do to adapt and lead. His previous book Engage is regarded as the industry reference guide for developing effective social business and social media strategies.