With more than 14 million users, rumors of deals with Google, and celebrity Twitterers, the social networking tool has become all the rage.
George Burns/Harpo Productions/AP
It was probably the highest profile tweet-up in the brief life of tweet-ups.
Since its launch in March 2006, Twitter has had a meteoric rise, growing to more than 14 million users – much of that just in the past few months. The micro-blogging tool has helped create new online communities and spread information – about protests, parties, and, sometimes, just gossip – around the Internet at an ever-faster pace.
It even has its own language. According to the “twictionary” website (the name comes from meshing the words Twitter and dictionary), a tweet-up is a real-life get together between two or more people who connected through Twitter.
A tweet is a 140-character message posted on Twitter.
But can all of this twittering make Twitter money – it hasn’t yet – and how will it influence the growing number of businesses, celebrities, and politicians that are excited by the marketing potential on the site?
Twitter is still figuring all that out, says Dom Sagolla, a software engineer who helped create Twitter and author of the forthcoming book “140 Characters,” about how to effectively communicate on the site.
Mr. Sagolla, who now works for Adobe and is an independent computer consultant, too, was user No. 9 on Twitter when he worked with the San Francisco start-up that hatched the idea. His first substantive message on the site: “Oh this is going to be addictive.”
(Oprah’s first message? “HI TWITTERS. THANK YOU FOR A WARM WELCOME. FEELING REALLY 21st CENTURY.”)
Sagolla says Twitter is focused on building value before building a profit. “And the value is this huge community,” he says. “No one knew they needed Twitter until they had it.”