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Twitter Turns Five

The idea was to have a dispatch service that connects people on their phones using text. And to make it so simple that you don’t even think about what you’re doing, you just type something and send it.

Rajat Arora | Delhi | March 16, 2011

For most of us 2006 was a normal year. My space, HI 5 and Orkut were ruling the internet. But a few had an idea that 2006 is going to be watershed year for the internet and social networking and a great transition on internet was waiting to happen. Five year back almost same time a revolution was born in 140 characters.

It started with the most mundane tweets and took some to pick up. Very few people could understand the concept and some also said what they will write in 140 characters. But within five years from just another networking site twitter became an all new communication model. People finally understood the power of 140 characters. Celebrity jumped upon it. Senator Obama in USA made twitter his way of reaching people. He canvassed for support during his presidential campaign through tweets.

Even India couldn’t remain untouched from this twitter mania. Shashi tharoor became first politician to get on twitter and Gul Panag the first bollywood personality to communicate with her fans in 140 characters. News organizations understood the importance of twitter to reach new India and made their twitter pages and connected their news stories with twitter.

The twitter story didn’t stop here. For people in Middle East, Twitter became a tool to fight their autocratic leaders. Twitter played a significant role in the Jasmine revolution and brought people with the same ideas together. In Egypt Nobel Peace laureate Mohamed Elbaradei reached his supporters through his tweets. Not to forget that even Dalia lama uses twitter to send his message across the globe.

In India Ministry of External Affairs also understood how useful Twitter was and Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao became first Indian diplomat to be on Twitter. Even the ministry has its Twitter page now. BJP leader Sushma Swaraj who’s known for her Oratory skills also tried the power of tweets. Now she interacts with media in 140 characters.

Twitter currently has around 250 million users across the world and has been valued at $ 7.7 billion.

At last, Happy Birthday Twitter!

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