Timeline of Twitter

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This is a timeline of microblogging service Twitter.

Major trends[edit]

Time period 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. The company starts making acquisitions, closes a $800 million Series G, puts its advertising plans to fruitions, launches site redesigns, and continues to grow.
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, and Curator, 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.

Full timeline[edit]

Year Month and date Event type Event
2004 Prelude Odeo, Twitter's parent company, is started.
2005 Prelude Odeo's podcasting service is released, with very little public response.
2006 February 26–27 Creation Jack Dorsey, Noah Glass, Evan Williams and Biz Stone discuss the idea of using text messaging to share statuses, and decide to work on the project. The original idea is attributed to Jack Dorsey, and called the status concept.[1]
2006 Early March Creation The name Twitter (spelt twttr at the time) is chosen for the service. The idea for the name is attributed to Noah Glass.[2][3]
2006 March 21 Creation Twitter is officially set up and Jack Dorsey sends the first tweet.[4]
2006 July 15 Media coverage Noah Glass tells Om Malik of GigaOm about Twitter (then called twttr), and Malik writes an article about it on GigaOm.[5] This appears to be the first ever news coverage of Twitter,[6] and a number of people, including Malik himself, have commented on the accuracy (or lack thereof) of its predictions from the perspective of hindsight.[7][8][9]
2006 August 3 Usage 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.[10]
2006 September Userbase Twitter attempts to have a grand launch at the Love Parade, but gets very little traction there, with only 100 new signups.[11]
2006 October 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.[12]
2007 March 12 Userbase Twitter is highly successful at South by Southwest Interactive (SXSW) and gets a major bump in usage from the event.[13] Commentator Steven Levy calls this a tipping point for Twitter.[14]
2007 April Financial/legal and company operation Twitter spins off into its own company.[15]
2007 June 26 Financial/legal Twitter announces that it has closed a funding round led by Fred Wilson of Union Square Ventures.[16] The five-million-dollar round values Twitter at $20 million.[17]
2007 August 23 Usage The hashtag (#), first proposed by user Chris Messina, debuts on Twitter.[18]
2008 June 24 Financial/legal Twitter announces the closure of its second funding round, welcoming new investors Bijan Sabet of Spark Capital and Jeff Bezos of Bezos Expeditions. Existing partners Union Square Ventures and Digital Garage also invest more.[19]
2008 October 16 Company operation It is announced that Jack Dorsey has stepped down from the CEO role at Twitter, and Evan Williams takes over.[20][21][22][23]
2009 February 13 Financial/legal Twitter announces the closure of yet another funding round, with new investors Peter Fenton of Benchmark Capital and Todd Chaffee of Institutional Venture Partners.[24][25]
2009 April 17 Media coverage, userbase expansion Evan Williams appears alongside Ashton Kutcher on Oprah Winfrey's show to explain Twitter to Oprah's audience.[26]
2009 April 20 onward Media coverage, userbase expansion Executives from Twitter and WordPress head over to Iraq to expose the people there to social media and the Internet.[27]
2009 April 30 Media coverage Twitter executives Biz Stone and Evan Williams are included in the TIME 100.[28]
2009 June 15–16 Usage Twitter reschedules planned downtime for maintenance so as not to conflict with a large planned protest in Iran.[29] 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.[30][31][32]
2010 January 22 Usage The first unassisted off-Earth Twitter message is posted from the International Space Station by NASA astronaut T. J. Creamer.[33]
2010 April 13 Product 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."[34][35][36]
2010 October 4 Company operation Evan Williams steps down as CEO, and Dick Costolo, the erstwhile COO, takes over as CEO.[37][38][39]
2011 April 5, April 20 Product Twitter tests a new homepage and phased out the "Old Twitter." [40] 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.[41][42]
2011 July 5 Acquisitions by Twitter Twitter acquires BackType, a real-time social analytics platform.[43][44]
2011 September 8–9 Financial/legal 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.[45][46]
2011 December 8 Product 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.[47][48]
2012 February 21 Product Twitter announces a parternship 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.[49]
2012 March 21 Userbase 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.[50]
2012 April Company operation Twitter announces that it is opening an office in Detroit, with the aim of working with automotive brands and advertising agencies.[51] Twitter also expanded its office in Dublin.[52]
2012 June 5 Product A modified logo is unveiled through the company blog, removing the text to showcase the slightly redesigned bird as the sole symbol of Twitter.[53]
2012 October 5 Acquisitions by Twitter Twitter acquired a video clip company called Vine that launches (later) in January 2013.[54][55] 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.[56] Due to an influx of inappropriate content, it is now rated 17+ in Apple's app store.[57]
2012 December 18 Userbase Twitter announces it had surpassed 200 million monthly active users. Twitter hit 100 million monthly active users in September 2011.[58]
2013 April 18 Product Twitter launches a music app called Twitter Music for the iPhone.[59]
2013 August 28 Acquisitions by Twitter Twitter acquires Trendrr, a real-time social data company.[60]
2013 September 9 Acquisitions by Twitter Twitter acquires MoPub.[61]
2013 September 12 Financial/legal Twitter announces that it has filed papers with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission ahead of a planned stock market listing.[62]
2013 October 4 Financial/legal Twitter releases an 800-page prospectus in preparation for the IPO.[63]
2013 November 6–7 Financial/legal On November 6, 70 million shares[64] are priced at US$26 and issued by lead underwriter Goldman Sachs.[65] 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.[66]
2014 June 19 Acquisitions by Twitter Twitter acquires SnappyTV.[67]
2014 June 30 Acquisitions by Twitter Twitter confirms acquisition of mobile ad retargeting startup TapCommerce.[68]
2014 July 31 Acquisitions by Twitter Twitter acquires password security startup Mitro and open sources the product.[69]
2014 November 12 Product, userbase 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.[70]
2014 December 2 Product Twitter announces a new suite of anti-harassment tools and promises faster response times for abuse complaints.[71]
2015 January 20 Acquisitions by Twitter Twitter acquires India-based mobile marketing startup ZipDial.[72][73]
2015 January 21 Product Twitter officially launches its "While You Were Away" feature.[74]
2015 February 17 Product Twitter lets people share team accounts without sharing passwords, with its new TweetDeck Team feature.[75][76][77]
2015 March 5 Product, monetization 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.[78][79]
2015 March 9 Acquisitions by Twitter Twitter acquires Periscope, a live video streaming startup.[80][81]
2015 March 23 Product 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.[82][83][84][85]
2015 March 31 Product Twitter publicly launches Curator, a real-time search and filtering feature for media outlets, that some commentators call a Storify competitor.[86][87][88]
2015 April 2 Acquisitions by Twitter Twitter acquires TenXer, a platform for developers and engineers to collaborate more effectively.[89]
2015 April 28 Acquisitions by Twitter Twitter acquires TellApart, an ad technology company with rich user profiles, and partners with DoubleClick, Google's ad exchange.[90][91][92]


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