After the huge volume of tweets coming in caused problems reading from and writing to these databases, the company decided that the system needed re-engineering. From Spring to , the messages were handled by a Ruby persistent queue server called Starling. This boost was greater than the 10x improvement that Twitter's engineers envisioned when starting the switch. The continued development of Twitter has also involved a switch from monolithic development of a single app to an architecture where different services are built independently and joined through remote procedure calls. As of April 6, , Twitter engineers confirmed that they had switched away from their Ruby on Rails search stack to a Java server they call Blender.
Individual tweets are registered under unique IDs using software called snowflake , and geolocation data is added using 'Rockdove'. The URL shortner t. Next, the tweets are stored in a MySQL database using Gizzard , and the user receives acknowledgement that the tweets were sent. Tweets are then sent to search engines via the Firehose API. The process is managed by FlockDB and takes an average of ms.
On August 16, , Raffi Krikorian , Twitter's vice president of platform engineering, shared in a blog post that the company's infrastructure handled almost , tweets per second during that week, setting a new record. Krikorian explained that Twitter achieved this record by blending its homegrown and open source technologies. The service's application programming interface API allows other web services and applications to integrate with Twitter. Twitter introduced the first major redesign of its user interface in September , adopting a dual-pane layout with a navigation bar along the top of the screen, and an increased focus on the inline embedding of multimedia content.
Critics considered the redesign an attempt to emulate features and experiences found in mobile apps and third-party Twitter clients. The new layout was revised in with a focus on continuity with the web and mobile versions, introducing "Connect" interactions with other users such as replies and "Discover" further information regarding trending topics and news headlines tabs, an updated profile design, and moving all content to the right pane leaving the left pane dedicated to functions and the trending topics list.
About 13, volunteers helped with translating the menu options. In September , a new layout for profiles was introduced, with larger "covers" that could be customized with a custom header image, and a display of the user's recent photos posted. In September , Twitter began to migrate selected web users to its progressive web app based on its Twitter Lite experience for mobile web , reducing the interface to two columns. Migrations to this iteration of Twitter increased in April , with some users receiving it with a modified layout.
In July , Twitter officially released this redesign, with no further option to opt-out while logged in. It is designed to further-unify Twitter's user experience between the web and application versions, adopting a three-column layout with a sidebar containing links to common areas including Explore , and features from the mobile version such as multi-account support, and an opt-out for the "top tweets" mode on the timeline. During an outage, Twitter users were at one time shown the "fail whale" error message image created by Yiying Lu,  illustrating eight orange birds using a net to hoist a whale from the ocean captioned "Too many tweets!
Please wait a moment and try again. Twitter had approximately ninety-eight percent uptime in or about six full days of downtime. Twitter messages are public, but users can also send private "direct messages". The service also reserves the right to sell this information as an asset if the company changes hands. A security vulnerability was reported on April 7, , by Nitesh Dhanjani and Rujith.
Since Twitter used the phone number of the sender of an SMS message as authentication, malicious users could update someone else's status page by using SMS spoofing. Within a few weeks of this discovery, Twitter introduced an optional personal identification number PIN that its users could use to authenticate their SMS-originating messages. Twitter launched the beta version of their "Verified Accounts" service on June 11, , allowing people with public profiles to announce their account name. The home pages of these accounts display a badge indicating their status. For example, comedian Conan O'Brien 's account, which had been set to follow only one person, was changed to receive nearly malicious subscriptions.
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This was the first time the FTC had taken action against a social network for security lapses. The settlement requires Twitter to take a number of steps to secure users' private information, including maintenance of a "comprehensive information security program" to be independently audited biannually. On December 14, , the United States Department of Justice issued a subpoena directing Twitter to provide information for accounts registered to or associated with WikiLeaks.
When a user held the mouse cursor over blacked-out parts of a tweet, the worm within the script would automatically open links and re-post itself on the reader's account. The origin of the worm is unclear, but Pearce H. Delphin known on Twitter as zzap and a Scandinavian developer, Magnus Holm, both claim to have modified a related exploit found by another user possibly Masato Kinugawa who was using it to create coloured Tweets.
Later, when he found it was exploitable again, he created the account 'RainbowTwtr' and used it to post coloured messages. This followed gossip posted on Twitter about professional footballer Ryan Giggs 's private life. This led to the British privacy injunctions controversy and the "super-injunction". Twitter acquired Dasient , a startup that offers malware protection for businesses, in January Twitter announced plans to use Dasient to help remove hateful advertisers on the website.
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The "Do Not Track" feature works only on sites that have agreed to the service. In August , it was reported that there was a market in fake Twitter followers used to increase politicians' and celebrities' apparent popularity. The culprits working to generate the fake followers, or "bots", included campaign workers or friends of political candidates.
The people creating the "bots" were often from Eastern Europe and Asia. After a number of high-profile hacks of official accounts, including those of the Associated Press and The Guardian ,  in April , Twitter announced a two-factor login verification as an added measure against hacking. Twitter announced new reporting and blocking policies in December ,     including a blocking mechanism devised by Randi Harper , a target of GamerGate.
On May 13, , Twitter disclosed that they had discovered a bug that accidentally shared location data from iOS devices to an advertiser. They assured that the data was not retained and that the bug was fixed. Twitter has a history of both using and releasing open source software while overcoming technical challenges of their service.
On April 17, , Twitter announced it would implement an "Innovators Patent Agreement" which would obligate Twitter to only use its patents for defensive purposes. The agreement went into effect in Having used the services of third parties TinyURL and bit. The service was tested on the main site using the accounts TwitterAPI, rsarver and raffi.
On June 7, , Twitter announced that it was rolling out the feature. On June 1, , Twitter announced its own integrated photo-sharing service that enables users to upload a photo and attach it to a Tweet right from Twitter. A Twitterbot is a computer program that automatically posts on Twitter, they are programmed to tweet, retweet, and follow other accounts.
These fake accounts are often used to build large follower populations quickly for advertisers, while others respond to tweets that include a certain word or phrase. Twitter is recognized for having one of the most open and powerful developer APIs of any major technology company. From until , Twitter's developer platform experienced strong growth and a highly favorable reputation.
Between and , however, Twitter made a number of decisions that were received unfavorably by the developer community. In October , Twitter announced Fabric, a suite of mobile developer tools built around Crashlytics.
By building Fabric on top of Crashlytics, Twitter was able to take advantage of Crashlytics' large adoption and device footprint to rapidly scale usage of MoPub and TwitterKit. Fabric reached active distribution across 1 billion mobile devices just 8 months after its launch.
In early , Twitter announced that Fabric was installed on more than 2 billion active devices and used by more than , developers. Fabric is recognized as the 1 most popular crash reporting and also the 1 mobile analytics solution among the top iOS apps, beating out Google Analytics , Flurry , and MixPanel. Twitter has been used for a variety of purposes in many industries and scenarios. For example, it has been used to organize protests, sometimes referred to as "Twitter Revolutions",  which include the protests over the Moldovan election , the student protests in Austria , the Gaza—Israel conflict , the Iranian green revolution , the Toronto G20 protests , the Bolivarian Revolution , the Stuttgart21 protests in Germany , the Egyptian Revolution , England riots , the United States Occupy movement , the anti-austerity movement in Spain , the Aganaktismenoi movements in Greece , the demonstration in Rome , the Wisconsin labor protests , the Gaza—Israel conflict , the protests in Brazil , and the Gezi Park protests in Turkey.
The service is also used as a form of civil disobedience : In , users expressed outrage over the Twitter Joke Trial by copying a controversial joke about bombing an airport and attaching the hashtag IAmSpartacus, a reference to the Spartacus film and a sign of solidarity and support to a man controversially prosecuted after posting a tweet joking about bombing an airport if they cancelled his flight. IAmSpartacus became the number one trending topic on Twitter worldwide. During the Arab Spring in early , the number of hashtags mentioning the uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt increased.
During the Hong Kong anti-extradition bill protests , Twitter suspended a core group of 1, "fake" accounts and an associated network of , accounts for operating a disinformation campaign that was linked to the Chinese government. In their announcement, Twitter released two data sets detailing the core group's account activity. In January , Twitter was sued by the widow of a U. Twitter disputed the claim, stating that "violent threats and the promotion of terrorism deserve no place on Twitter and, like other social networks, our rules make that clear.
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Twitter suspended multiple parody accounts that satirized Russian politics in May , sparking protests and raising questions about where the company stands on freedom of speech. In October , actress Rose McGowan said that Twitter had suspended her account for 12 hours after she repeatedly tweeted about former film studio executive Harvey Weinstein's alleged sexual misconduct toward her and others.
In November , the Paradise Papers , a set of confidential electronic documents relating to offshore investment , revealed that Twitter is among the corporations that avoided paying taxes by using offshore companies. In May , in response to scrutiny over the misuse of Twitter by those seeking to maliciously influence elections, Twitter announced that it would partner with the nonprofit organization Ballotpedia to add special labels verifying the authenticity of political candidates running for election in the U. Days later, the ability to send a tweet via SMS was temporarily turned off. Twitter is banned completely in Iran , China and North Korea ,  and has been intermittently blocked in numerous countries including Egypt , Iraq , Turkey , Venezuela and Turkmenistan on different bases.
After claims in the media that the hashtags wikileaks and occupywallstreet were being censored because they did not show up on the site's list of trending topics, Twitter responded by stating that it does not censor hashtags unless they contain obscenities. Edgett admitted to suppressing tweets that were potentially damaging to Hillary Clinton — including around half of all those using the DNCLeak hashtag relating to the DNC leaks.
In , at the same time as Twitter executives paid to attend a political fundraiser by Hillary Clinton, the Twitter platform banned a pro- Bernie Sanders account that had started a hashtag critical of Clinton's fundraising from wealthy donors. In , a campaign to turn Twitter into a platform cooperative owned democratically by the users was launched.
In May , The Wall Street Journal wrote that social networking services such as Twitter "elicit mixed feelings in the technology-savvy people who have been their early adopters. Fans say they are a good way to keep in touch with busy friends. But some users are starting to feel too connected, as they grapple with check-in messages at odd hours, higher cellphone bills and the need to tell acquaintances to stop announcing what they're having for dinner.
Dvorak described Twitter as "the new CB radio ". A practical use for Twitter's real-time functionality is as an effective de facto emergency communication system for breaking news. It was neither intended nor designed for high-performance communication, but the idea that it could be used for emergency communication was not lost on the creators, who knew that the service could have wide-reaching effects early on when the company used it to communicate during earthquakes. Another practical use that is being studied is Twitter's ability to track epidemics and how they spread.
In addition, Twitter has acted as a sensor for automatic response to natural disasters such as bush fires. Twitter has been adopted as a communication and learning tool in educational and research  settings mostly in colleges and universities. Twitter has been an increasingly growing in the field of education, as an effective tool that can be used to encourage learning and idea, or knowledge sharing, in and outside the classroom. A broad example of a hashtag used in education is "edchat", to communicate with other teachers, and people using that hashtag.
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Once teachers find someone they want to talk to, they can either direct message the person, or narrow down the hashtag to make the topic of the conversation more specific using hashtags for scichat science , engchat English , sschat social studies. In a study, researchers found that young peoples use of Twitter helped to improve relationships with teachers, encourage interactive learning, and ultimately lead to high grades.
People found that sifting through large amounts of data is challenging, however, with the simple nature of Twitter large amount of information became easily accessible. This ultimately promotes growth and learning among students and educators, not just in the class room, but virtually and around the world. Tech writer Bruce Sterling commented in that using Twitter for "literate communication" is "about as likely as firing up a CB radio and hearing some guy recite the Iliad ". The novelist Rick Moody wrote a short story for Electric Literature called "Some Contemporary Characters," composed entirely of tweets.
In , Nielsen Online reported that Twitter had a user-retention rate of forty percent. Many people stop using the service after a month; therefore the site may potentially reach only about ten percent of all Internet users. In response, Andy Carvin gave Schorr two examples of breaking news stories that played out on Twitter and said users wanted first-hand accounts and sometimes debunked stories.
The service was active from to During the Summer Olympics opening ceremony , in which he appeared at the London Olympic Stadium in person,  Sir Tim Berners-Lee , the founder of the World Wide Web, tweeted "This is for everyone",  which was instantly spelled out in LCD lights attached to the chairs of the 80, people in the audience.
World leaders and their diplomats have taken note of Twitter's rapid expansion and have been increasingly utilizing Twitter diplomacy , the use of Twitter to engage with foreign publics and their own citizens. McFaul has been attributed as a pioneer of international Twitter diplomacy. He used Twitter after becoming ambassador in , posting in English and Russian. According to an analysis of accounts, the heads of state of countries and other leading politicians have Twitter accounts that have between them sent more than , tweets and have almost 52 million followers.
However, only 30 of these do their own tweeting, more than 80 do not subscribe to other politicians and many do not follow any accounts. Donald Trump has used Twitter as a method of providing ideas and information during his presidential campaign in , the transitional period and as US President. A study performed at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology showed his tweets from these different time periods and through analysis of his tweets, the professors found that President Trump uses a mode called "forensic mode" the most often in his tweets.
This is described as a quick reactive usage, as they found he often used Twitter to show his judgement of the events that occurred regarding both his allies and his enemies. After his election to the presidency he tweeted this "forensic-style" tweet, "Just had a very open and successful election. Now professional protesters, incited by the media, are protesting.
Very Unfair! In a study done at New York University in , an analysis and comparison of the Twitter accounts of Donald Trump, Jeb Bush , Bernie Sanders , and Hillary Clinton , found observations showing the goals of each candidate's Twitter during their respective primary elections.
Some comparisons that were made were the use of Aristotle's theory of Rhetoric. The research found that Donald Trump used pathos, the appeal to emotion, in his rhetoric; Bernie Sanders tended to use ethos and logos for his Twitter; Hillary Clinton tended to use logos and pathos to try to convey her values, and Jeb Bush shows that he uses a mix of all three on his account.
The study also looked at the media response to the tweets during the election. The study found that the tweets became more persuasive for the candidates if the media put the tweets in front of more viewers, versus less powerful if they were only visible to those already on Twitter. In that way, presidential candidates who had their tweets covered more in the news were able to get their message to more potential voters. More than twenty Roman Catholic cardinals manage active Twitter accounts,  nine of whom were cardinal electors for the Papal conclave. As of April , his successor, Pope Francis , has 9.
Twitterbots are capable of influencing public opinion about culture, products and political agendas by automatically generating mass amounts of tweets through imitating human communication. The social implications these Twitterbots potentially have on human perception are sizeable according to a study published by the ScienceDirect Journal.
Looking at the Computers as Social Actors CASA paradigm, the journal notes, "people exhibit remarkable social reactions to computers and other media, treating them as if they were real people or real places. In addition to content-generating bots, users can purchase followers, favorites, retweets and comments on various websites that cater to expanding a user's image through accumulation of followers.
With more followers, users' profiles gain more attention, thus increasing their popularity. This practice of obtaining mass amounts of twitterbots as followers is not permitted on Twitter. Twitter is also increasingly used for making TV more interactive and social. In December , Twitter and Nielsen entered a multi-year agreement to produce social TV ratings, which are expected to be commercially available for the fall season as the Nielsen Twitter TV Rating.
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In May , it launched Twitter Amplify —an advertising product for media and consumer brands. On launch, the concept was limited to NBCUniversal channels and Xfinity cable television subscribers. In an attempt to compete with Twitter's leadership in TV, Facebook introduced a number of features in to drive conversation about TV including hashtags, verified profiles and embeddable posts.
It also opened up new data visualization APIs for TV news and other media outlets, enabling them to search for a word and see a firehose of public posts that mention it as well as show how many people mentioned a word in both public and private posts during a set time frame, with a demographic breakdown of the age, gender, and location of these people.
Facebook struck the partnership to help marketers understand how people are using the social network to talk about topics such as TV. These acquisitions, as well as a partnership with research company Kantar which it had been working with to develop a suite of analytics tools for the British TV industry since August strengthened Twitter's dominance of the "second screen" — TV viewers using tablets and smartphones to share their TV experience on social media. With the additional analytic tools, Twitter was able to improve the firm's offering to advertisers, allowing them to, for instance, only promote a tweet onto the timelines of users who were watching a certain programme.
By February , all four major U. TV networks had signed up to the Amplify program, bringing a variety of premium TV content onto the social platform in the form of in-tweet real-time video clips. In June , Twitter acquired its Amplify partner in the U. The oldest Twitter accounts are 14 accounts that became active on March 21, , all belonging to Twitter employees at the time and including jack Jack Dorsey , biz Biz Stone , and noah Noah Glass.
A selfie orchestrated by 86th Academy Awards host Ellen DeGeneres during the March 2, broadcast was at the time the most retweeted image ever. The resulting photo of twelve celebrities broke the previous retweet record within forty minutes, and was retweeted over 1. There was a global peak of , tweets in one second, beating the previous record of 33, On the day of the U. A recent study  analysed trending topics of according to several criteria. Their results highlight a number of points:. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
For more about hashtags, see Hashtag. Main article: Twitter trends. This section needs to be updated. Please update this article to reflect recent events or newly available information. September See also: Black Twitter. July Main article: Twitter usage. See also: Censorship of Twitter. See also: Deplatforming and Twitter suspensions. Main articles: Censorship of Twitter , Deplatforming , and Twitter suspensions.
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What is Twitter and why does it keep following me around?
Retrieved January 26, Business Insider. And 65 percent of B2C businesses are marketing there. One of the top reasons businesses feel they need to be on Twitter is customer service. However, smaller brands can also jump on the opportunity to turn frowns upside down. According to Edison Research, brands need to put in some legwork and broaden their Twitter customer service horizons. Check out our full guide to social listening here. As of their Q3 conference call, ad engagements on Twitter continue to rise. And 9 percent better at memory encoding.
This is according to a NeuroInsight study that also found people spend 4 percent more time on Twitter during a live event than they would normally. Take, for instance, the 4. More than any other platform, Twitter lives for major events. That kind of predictable surge in interest is worth experimenting with in your paid strategy. Twitter is an indispensible platform for many experts and thought leaders, not to mention comedians. Have you considered complementing your traditional ads with a well-placed shout-out from the right voice? In other words, a tweet gets half its interactions in the first half hour, and then starts a long, slow decline into the fog of time.
B2C brands might have even better results scheduling around working hours. Think commutes and lunch hours. Twitter is foremost an online social networking service. Therefore, it depends on the Internet. While users can opt to receive Twitter notifications via text message, the default platform for Twitter is Internet-based. Texting, on the other hand, takes place independently from the Internet. Text messages are exchanged within or between cell phone service providers.
Serm Murmson is a writer, thinker, musician and many other things. He has a bachelor's degree in anthropology from the University of Chicago. His concerns include such things as categories, language, descriptions, representation, criticism and labor. He has been writing professionally since Skip to main content. Directionality Twitter and texting differ in the way in which messages are directed. Short Message Service Text messages operate via the SMS protocol, which dictates that messages must be under characters in length.