It’s hard to believe that Twitter – one of the most popular social media sites in the world – has just celebrated its 10th birthday.
It seems like only yesterday that individuals and businesses were getting to grips with the bewildering new language of hashtags and @ symbols and newspapers felt obliged to preface every mention of the baffling new platform with the rather clumsy three word phrase “micro-blogging site”.
This month’s milestone has been somewhat overshadowed by speculation that Twitter may be at the point of plateauing.
More than 300 million users worldwide is nothing to be sneered at, but there’s no doubt that growth has tailed off over the past year or so.
It’s perhaps inevitable therefore that Twitter’s chief executive Jack Dorsey, the man who fired the very first tweet into the ether back in 2006, has had to field plenty of questions about the future direction of the site.
Speaking earlier this month he said he was “really confident” about what lay ahead.
“Our first wave of usage was really around the tech early adopters, as you’re aware. But our second wave was around journalists and writers,” he told an audience.
“Over the 10 years, every wave thereafter was an entirely new-use case—a new way of people finding their voice. For people who were new to the service, it was just a very fast and easy way to figure out what’s happening around whatever their interest was.”
As previously discussed on this blog, some of the recent debate has centred on whether Twitter needs to think the unthinkable and unshackle itself from fundamental elements such as the 140 character limit; a move that could frustrate as many long-time users as it wins new fans.
Mr Dorsey has suggested that some of the most important elements going forward will be ensuring that the site remains relevant, introduces a more personal service and perhaps most crucially doesn’t neglect the existing user base while chasing new recruits.
One thing’s for certain, it’ll certainly be interesting to see what the site might look like when the 20th anniversary rolls around.