Twitter Reaches its Tipping Point

Over the past few months there’s one word that has been on everyone’s lips: Twitter. In January 2009 alone, Twitter had over 54,218,731 unique visitors (according to analysis from Compete, Inc) and has become a regular fixture for business professionals, journalists and even members of Congress, who have become Twitter advocates seemingly over night.

For those of you who may be unfamiliar with what we’re talking about, Twitter is a free social networking/micro-blogging site where members share and receive 140-character posts (tweets) with people on their Twitter network. Founded in early 2006 by Jack Dorsey, Noah Glass, Biz Stone and Evan Williams, Twitter started as a research project in the studios of podcasting company Odeo. In its initial stages, the fledgling site gained a small, but loyal, following among friends; after the first year it began to spread by word of mouth, as a handful of key bloggers and journalists helped Twitter gain momentum.

Since 2006, Twitter has grown rapidly year-over-year, and a recent report on social networks by Jeremiah Owyang, senior analyst for Forrester Research, estimated that as of November 2008 Twitter had between 4-5 million active users. This growth is impressive, no doubt, but it has been dwarfed in the past few months as Twitter’s popularity has skyrocketed - positioning Twitter as a direct competitor with more well-established social networking sites like MySpace and Facebook.

Twitter’s growth has been astounding and many social media gurus suggest that the buzz surrounding the site will enable Twitter to reach its tipping point this very week. To give you a glimpse into the recent Twitter media frenzy, be sure to check out “The Week that Twitter Tipped” by Fast Company reporter Chris Dannen, and click on the video below to see a hilarious Daily Show segment called, “Old Man Stewart Shakes His Fist at: Twitter.”

 

Could this be the week that Twitter tips the scale? Judge for yourself.

- Contributed by Gretchen Doores.  Follow her @canadiangal84