Forget all that stuff your parents taught you about not talking to strangers. One lucky user brought Twitter to its 20 billionth tweet over the weekend, an award as prestigious as being swept away in the confetti and balloons of being the 10,000th grocery market shopper.
The momentous tweet was made by user “GGGGGGo_Lets_Go”, a Japanese graphic designer on Saturday, July 31st. When translated, his post said, "So that means the barrage might come back later all at once." Riveting stuff.
Status updates of 140 characters known as “tweets” have broadcasted banalities worldwide since Twitter’s inception in 2006. The service, dubbed by some as the “SMS of the internet”, went on to take the World Wide Web by storm, with currently over 190 million users tweeting at a rate of 65 million times a day. That’s a lot of noise.
This milestone comes roughly five months after the service reached its 10 billionth tweet and just two months since its 15 billionth. At the current rate, the micro-blog is seeing 10 times the tweeting of its first four years of service combined.
“What are the chances? Maybe I'm going to die. Is it more amazing than winning the lottery? I thought it was a joke," user “GGGGGGo_Lets_Go” said in another Twitter message just moments later.
It seems only statistically fitting that a Japanese user would be the one ringing in the 20 billionth tweet. Roughly 12% of all tweets originate from the country, due partly to the fact that 140 kanji characters can say more in the confined spaces of your tweet field than 140 Roman characters.
The landmark arrives amidst recent reports that whilst tweets are skyrocketing at all-time highs, membership numbers are actually stagnating. The analytics firm HubSpot claims that a vast majority of the tweets are only coming from a small sample of its members, power users who are trumping the output of the recreational user. According to their reports released earlier in January, from Twitter's peak of 29.2 million new U.S. users in July of 2009 up through December, their monthly rates have dropped to 23.6 million, a loss close to 24%.
Twitter claims that they have over 300,000 new users joining daily, but the layers to this number aren’t peeled back to expose just how many are spammers and one-and-dones. While this doesn't spell doom by any means for the social networking wonder, it is certainly cause for some concern.