The evolution of twitter: How the social media platform morphed to become a critical link in sharing, connection & dissemination of important information, views, products & news.
Twitter was launched in 2006. In the beginning, Twitter was a social network that allowed users to share short thoughts about topics, trends, and events that they found important. This platform allows users to fire off their thoughts in the form of tweets or short texts of a maximum of 160 characters. Today, Twitter is one of the major social networks that people are using for different purposes, including marketing. People and brands can even buy Twitter followers to enhance their popularity on the platform.
Having been around for more than a decade, Twitter has evolved in many ways just like other social networks. This evolution can be attributed to the need to respond to commercial demands and the needs of users. The application ecosystem, user interface, culture, and geographical distribution are different from the way they used to be a decade ago.
In 2007, Twitter was presented at SXSW. It was after this presentation that the platform realized an increase in its traffic from 20,000 users to 60,000 users. In the same year, Dell joined the platform as the first major corporation. Twitter also became an incorporated company.
This was followed by a rollout of several features. These included replies, hashtags, and follows. In 2010, Twitter underwent a major redesign. Here are some of the ways Twitter has evolved over the last decade.
Twitter Layout in 2010
The Twitter mission has not changed significantly. But, the layout of the platform and brand has come a long way. In 2010, Twitter had a visually busy and quite clunky design. However, the platform was considered as the hippest social media network that pioneered hashtag trending.
However, the layout of this platform eventually split its homepage. One side of the homepage has a timeline that resembles the Twitter feed. The other side had details of the number of tweets a user could send, follower counts, follower suggestions, and trending hashtags.
In addition to a Twitter feed, one side of the homepage had the tweets of the users to the left side. The platform also allowed users to click on different tabs, including mentions to find out whether they have been tagged in the Tweets of other users. They could also see retweets and past searches.
Users can also add the accounts they follow to “Lists” and easily see tweets with a single click on the “Lists”.
Twitter Layout in 2020
The 2020 Twitter layout is easy to navigate. Although feeds are placed in the center directly, users can access major features like profile and “Lists” by clicking on marketed buttons on the navigation bar to the left side of the page. Trends are still prioritized and dedicated to the right sidebar. This bar features viral hashtags and topics.
Additionally, the Twitter feed emphasizes videos and photos more now than it did a decade ago. In addition to the visual changes to the homepage feed, this platform has also been customized to every user. On discovering, following, and engaging with accounts or content via Twitter’s feed, Twitter Topics, and Explore feature, the algorithms of this platform record this data when prioritizing the content that users may enjoy on their feed.
Essentially, the Twitter mission is now more focuses on making content and feeds personalized to suit the needs of users.
Previously, it was the responsibility of users to decide on how to keep up with the latest developments by selecting the accounts to follow, searching for their preferred content, or using the Explore tab to find out more about the latest developments. Today, users can see the most interesting and relevant tweets about the things they are interested in. Essentially, important conversations come to individual users.
The Evolution of Twitter Users and Behavior
A study on the evolution of Twitter users and behavior reveals that it’s difficult to determine whether the behavior of every user has changed over the last decade or it’s just a subset of this social network. According to this study, the extent to which the user behavior and base have evolved remains unclear. It’s unknown whether prior results are the same or whether the assumptions of the proposed systems remain valid.
This study may be directed to other researchers. However, its results may interest everybody that has used Twitter. According to this study, Twitter has evolved in the following ways over the last decade.
- On average, tweets from active users have increased by twenty times per month over the last decade. But, the major increase was between 2009 and 2012, after which it leveled and started to fall later.
- Retweeting increased over the last decade. People were retweeting more frequently than they were replying to tweets until late 2013.
- About 55% of tweets mentioned the other users. Only 10 to 15% contained a link. This is also the case for hashtags. However, people that use hashtags add more content than others.
- Over 50% of Tweets are from mobile devices. And, the use of desktops to access Twitter keeps declining.
- English is still the most popular language that people use on Twitter followed by Spanish.
- Over 30% of Twitter accounts are not active. The total number of suspended and inactive Twitter accounts has increased rapidly over the last decade.
- About 10 to 15% of tweets posted between 2009 and 2010 are unavailable because users have changed their public accounts into private or deleted them. Others disappeared after the accounts were suspended.
- People do not change their Twitter handles more often.
The Bottom Line
Twitter has come a long way over the last decade. It has evolved from a simple platform for sharing short thoughts into a major social network that is used to communicate important messages. Twitter is now a platform that people use to find and share crucial information. While some Twitter accounts have been deleted or suspended, more people have also joined the platform. And, their demands, needs, and behaviors vary. Nevertheless, the use of hashtags and retweeting has remained a common behavior of Twitter users. Mentioning other users is a habit that has also increased over the last decade.