This is a timeline of the microblogging service Twitter.
Key developments at Twitter
March 2006 – March 2007
Twitter launches as a product of parent company Odeo. It grows slowly until March 2007, where usage grows dramatically after it is showcased at the South by Southwest Interactive (SXSW) conference.
April 2007 – October 2008
Twitter grows rapidly under CEO Jack Dorsey, completing two funding rounds and launching official support for hashtags.
October 2008 – October 2010
Jack Dorsey steps down, and Evan Williams takes over as CEO. Twitter raises money, gets celebrity endorsements and publicity, and continues to grow rapidly. The first tweet from space occurs during this period. Twitter also announces that it will start allowing for advertising in the form of promoted tweets – "ordinary tweets that businesses and individuals want to highlight to a wider group of users."
October 2010 – October 2013
Evan Williams steps down as CEO, and Dick Costolo takes over.
October 2013 – present
Twitter announces plans and files relevant legal documents in October 2013 so as to go public. In November 2013, it has its initial public offering. Post-IPO, the company's pace of acquisitions increases dramatically.
November 2014 – present
With the launch of features such as Instant Timeline, While You Were Away, Quality Filter, Curator, and Moments, Twitter diversifies beyond just being a reverse chronological stream of tweets by people you already follow. Rather, it seeks to more intelligently help people with the on-boarding process as well as helps seasoned users navigate through what might otherwise be a very messy feed.
July 2015 – present
Dick Costolo departs Twitter and Jack Dorsey assumes the role of interim CEO. Commentators note that the "founder's instincts" are influencing the product's new direction.
The name Twitter (spelled twttr at the time and using a green site logo) is chosen for the service. The idea for the name is attributed to Noah Glass.
Twitter is officially set up and Jack Dorsey sends the first tweet.
Noah Glass tells Om Malik of GigaOm about Twitter (then called twttr), and Malik writes an article about it on GigaOm. This appears to be the first ever news coverage of Twitter, and a number of people, including Malik himself, have commented on the accuracy (or lack thereof) of its predictions from the perspective of hindsight.
Twitter users tweet about a mild (4.4 on the Richter scale) earthquake in California. The event helps Twitter's team see the potential of Twitter as a way for many people to contribute to the reporting of a live event, each from his or her own vantage point.
Twitter attempts to have a grand launch at the Love Parade, but gets very little traction there, with only 100 new signups.
Financial/legal and company operation
Biz Stone, Evan Williams, Dorsey, and other members of Odeo, form Obvious Corporation and acquired Odeo, together with its assets—including Odeo.com and Twitter.com—from the investors and shareholders.
Twitter reschedules planned downtime for maintenance so as not to conflict with a large planned protest in Iran. Because a US State Department official had emailed Twitter about the planned protest, newspapers speculate that Twitter rescheduled its downtime because of pressure from the US government.
Twitter announces that it will start allowing for advertising in the form of promoted tweets – "ordinary tweets that businesses and individuals want to highlight to a wider group of users."
Twitter tests a new homepage and phased out the "Old Twitter." However, a glitch came about after the page was launched, so the previous "retro" homepage was still in use until the issues were resolved; the new homepage was reintroduced on April 20.
Twitter acquires BackType, a real-time social analytics platform.
Twitter closes its Series G round, raising $800 million at a $8 billion valuation. Of the $800 million, $400 million buys off shares from existing investors and the remaining $400 million goes to the company.
Twitter overhauls its website once more to feature the "Fly" design, which the service says is easier for new users to follow and promotes advertising. In addition to the Home tab, the Connect and Discover tabs are introduced along with a redesigned profile and timeline of Tweets. The site's layout is compared to that of Facebook.
Twitter announces a partnership with Russian search engine Yandex. Yandex, a Russian search engine, finds value within the partnership due to Twitter's real time news feeds. Twitter's director of business development explained that it is important to have Twitter content where Twitter users go.
Twitter celebrates its sixth birthday while also announcing that it has 140 million users and sees 340 million tweets per day. The number of users is up 40% from their September 2011 number, which was said to have been at 100 million at the time.
Twitter announces that it is opening an office in Detroit, with the aim of working with automotive brands and advertising agencies. Twitter also expanded its office in Dublin.
A modified logo is unveiled through the company blog, removing the text to showcase the slightly redesigned bird as the sole symbol of Twitter.
Twitter acquired a video clip company called Vine that launches (later) in January 2013. Twitter released Vine as a standalone app that allows users to create and share six-second looping video clips on January 24, 2013. Vine videos shared on Twitter are visible directly in users' Twitter feeds. Due to an influx of inappropriate content, it is now rated 17+ in Apple's app store.
Twitter announces it had surpassed 200 million monthly active users. Twitter hit 100 million monthly active users in September 2011.
Twitter launches a music app called Twitter Music for the iPhone.
Twitter releases an 800-page prospectus in preparation for the IPO.
On November 6, 70 million shares are priced at US$26 and issued by lead underwriter Goldman Sachs. On November 7, trading of the shares begins on the New York Stock Exchange. The share closes at US$44.90, giving the company a valuation of around US$31 billion.
Desktop website layout majorly redesigned. This layout served as main front end for desktop web users until July 2019.
Twitter confirms acquisition of mobile ad retargeting startup TapCommerce.
Twitter acquires password security startup Mitro and open sources the product.
Twitter announces "Instant Timeline"—a way to show users who have just created accounts interesting content even before they have followed anybody. Around the same time, Twitter announces that it will make the timeline more customized, highlighting to a user the most important tweets while they were away, rather than simply showing a reverse chronological feed. Other features announced include better video capability and the ability to share public tweets privately with one's followers to discuss them.
Twitter announces a new suite of anti-harassment tools and promises faster response times for abuse complaints.
Twitter acquires India-based mobile marketing startup ZipDial.
Twitter officially launches its "While You Were Away" feature.
Launch of video uploading through mobile app and direct messaging in groups.
Twitter announces that it has acquired Niche, an ad network for social media stars, founded by Rob Fishman and Darren Lachtman. The acquisition price is reportedly $50 million.
Twitter lets people share team accounts without sharing passwords, with its new TweetDeck Team feature.
Twitter announces that it will tap data from its Marketing Platform Partners and allow publishers to target ads to specific audiences based on that data.
Twitter acquires Periscope, a live video streaming startup.
Twitter starts rolling out a "Quality Filter" to verified iOS users so that people can more easily keep bullying and unpleasant tweets out of their stream. A number of news articles commented that it worked quite well.
Twitter publicly launches Curator, a real-time search and filtering feature for media outlets, that some commentators call a Storify competitor.
Twitter acquires TenXer, a platform for developers and engineers to collaborate more effectively.
Twitter acquires with $532 million in stock TellApart, an ad technology company with rich user profiles, and partners with DoubleClick, Google's ad exchange.
Twitter shares fall in price by about 18% based on their disappointing quarterly revenue ($436 million), earning, and user growth numbers. The drop begins even before Twitter's official announcement because the results are scraped by financial intelligence firm Selerity from Twitter's website.
Twitter completes the rollout of its new search interface for logged-in web users.
Twitter debuts Twitter Moments, a way for people to get a quick overview of important tweets or chains of tweets that occurred recently.
Omid Kordestani leaves his job as Chief Business Officer at Google to become Executive Chairman at Twitter. His base salary is $50,000 and he is eligible for up to $12 million in stock based on the company's performance.
Twitter replaces the Favorite button with a Like button and the star symbol (used to symbolize favoriting) with a heart symbol. Twitter reports a 6% increase in usage of the feature after the change, and also appears to be experimenting with offering a more diverse set of emojis, prompting commentators to draw parallels with Facebook's Reactions feature.
Twitter launches a political transparency page, so that people can better engage with policy issues on Twitter.
Twitter rolls out a change to its feed, making recommended tweets the default option, rather than the reverse chronological format that it had used since launch. The rollout officially begins on February 10. The rollout is completed on March 17, 2016. Users are allowed to opt out, but Twitter reports in April 2016 that the percentage of users who opted out is in the "low single digits".
Twitter announces that attached photos and videos will not be counted towards the 140 character limitation, and that a tweet beginning with a handle will be seen by followers.
Twitter acquires Magic Pony Technology, a company based out of London that has developed techniques of using neural networks (systems that essentially are designed to think like human brains) and machine learning to provide expanded data for images.
Twitter launches tags to location feeds with Foursquare. People can see which tweets are from a specific place.
Twitter announces that it plans to cut 350 jobs (around 9% of its global workforce).
Vine announces that Twitter would be discontinuing the Vine mobile app. Vine says users of the service would be notified before any changes to the app or website are made. The company also states that the website and the app will be still available for users to view and download Vines; however, users will no longer be able to post.
Rishi Jaitly, Twitter's head of India, announces his departure from the company.
Twitter acquires Yes, Inc., the company that made several apps including Frenzy. All of Yes's apps would shut down. In the process of the acquisition, Keith Coleman, who had served as CEO of Yes, becomes a new vice president of product for Twitter.
Adam Messinger, Twitter's chief technology officer, announces his departure from the company. On the same day, Josh McFarland, a vice president of product, also announces his departure from Twitter.
Twitter announces that it would shut down the Twitter Dashboard.
The founders of App.net announce that the platform will shut down on March 14, 2017. App.net has been called "an ad-free, subscription-based, Twitter clone". The source code for App.net will be made available through its GitHub account.
Twitter announces it has sold Fabric, Twitter's developer platform, to Google.
Twitter launches an online archive of Vine videos.
Twitter launches the "Explore" tab, which replaces the "Moments" tab. The Explore tab bundles together Moments, trends, live video streams, and search.
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