8 Interesting Facts About Twitter

(See the Vocabulary list for the definitions of words in green.)

Listen:

1. The idea for Twitter originated during a company brainstorming session, when Jack Dorsey proposed a group SMS messaging service.

A sketch of the original Twitter concept

2. Twitter was launched in 2006, but really took off during the 2007 South by Southwest Music Festival, where there were two big plasma screens in conference hallways with streaming Twitter messages.

3. The first Tweet from outer space was posted by an astronaut from the International Space Station on January 22, 2010.

4. The highest ever number of Tweets per second was almost 9,000, when Beyonce announced her pregnancy on MTV in August 2011.

5. Nelson Mandela, Christina Aguilera, Salman Rushdie, and the Pope all joined Twitter in 2011.

6. The top hashtag on Twitter in 2011 was #egypt thanks to the revolution there and Hosni Mubarak’s resignation.

7. A study from 2009 showed 40% of tweets to be “pointless babble” 

  • Pointless babble – 40%

  • Conversational – 38%

  • Pass-along value – 9%

  • Self-promotion – 6%

  • Spam – 4%

  • News – 4%

 

 

 

8. When Twitter is down, it shows a picture of the “Fail Whale”: 

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Vocabulary

brainstorming = a time when people create as many ideas as possible

took off  = became popular

streaming = continuous

outer space = outside the earth

pregnancy = when there is a baby inside a woman

joined = became part of, began to participate

resignation = when a person decides to leave their job

pointless babble = silly conversation, talking with no purpose or importance

down = not working, not functioning

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