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V3 reporter Shaun Nichols

Twitter Turns 6: From 140 Characters to 140 Million Users

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twitter-newbird-blueMicroblogging pioneer Twitter marked its sixth anniversary by announcing that it now has more than 140 million active users. The company said that its users average more than 340 million tweets daily, totalling upwards of 2 billion posts per week.

"When [Jack Dorsey] first sketched out his notion in March 2006, no one could have predicted the trajectory of this new communication tool," the company said in a blog post. "Now it seems that there are as many ways to express yourself in 140 characters as there are people doing it."

Dorsey's first tweet appeared March 21, 2006: "just setting up my twttr".

Amazingly, Atlantic Wire is trying to hijack Twitter's birth date because Twttr launched July 15, 2006, despite the fact Twitter celebrated its birth on March 21 last year as well, at the time touting 140 million tweets per day (Google's birthday has also been the subject of some confusion through the years). Wonder what sort of "140" stats we can see next year from the service that is built around 140 character messages.

The anniversary comes as Twitter finds itself facing an outlook that is both promising and fraught with danger.

Earlier this year, the company reinvested its revenues with a series of acquisitions that included aggregator service Summify and security specialist Dasient. It has also unveiled a redesign, launched an analytics platform, and expanded promoted tweets.

Like many other social networking sites, however, Twitter also finds itself a popular target for malware writers and online fraud operations. It also is facing a potential threat in Google+.

Executives are being cautious in their plans to expand the service. Earlier this year chief executive Dick Costolo said that the company would not be joining fellow social networking giant Facebook in offering shares on the stock market, opting instead to remain private and keep its finances out of the public record.

This article was originally published on V3.


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