Jack Dorsey and his team at Odeo created the first Twitter prototype. The full version was released publicly on July 15, 2016.
It wasn’t clear what Twitter was. It wasn’t easy to define because it wasn’t replacing anything. There was this path for discovering something like that, where eventually you figured out what it was. Twitter has evolved from what we initially imagined it to be: status updates and a social media utility. It is that, but the insight we ultimately came to was that Twitter was more of a news network than a networking tool.
The tipping point for the popularity of Twitter was the 2007 South by South West Interactive Conference. During the event, the number of tweets per day increased from 20,000 to 60,000. The Twitter people cleverly placed two 60-inch plasma screens (one for each hallway). They were exclusively streaming Twitter messages.
The company experienced rapid initial growth. It had 400,000 tweets posted per quarter in 2007. This grew to 100 million tweets posted per quarter in 2008. In February 2010, Twitter users were sending 50 million tweets per day. By March 2010, the company recorded over 70,000 registered applications.
Elon Musk has stated that his initial plan is to open source the algorithm that ranks tweets on Twitter’s content feed so that others can use it. He has expressed his intention to remove the spam robots and authenticate real humans.