10 Billion Tweets and Counting…

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TwitterIt’s the end of the week, so let’s look at one of this more light-hearted stories from the past few days…

Apparently, more than 10 billion tweets have been sent on Twitter since the micro-blogging service was launched in 2006.

That’s a lot. The tabloid press will undoubtedly come up with metaphoric comparisons to show just how big 10 billion is. I’m going to beat them to it…

If you could send a tweet every second, 24-hours per day, it’d take you more than 317 years to submit the same number of messages. You’d be bored within 10 minutes, dead by day 5, and you still wouldn’t match Rob Madden’s tweeting frequency.
If each tweet was the size of a 1cm3 sugar lump, they’d produce a cube with dimensions of 21.5m3. That’s enough to keep the guy decorating my bathroom supplied with tea for almost three weeks.
If each tweet was a sentence in a book, you wouldn’t be able to find a big enough binding machine, it’d be impossible to carry, and even Google would have trouble scanning all the pages.
etc, etc…

The milestone was announced by GigaTweet, a site which records a real-time history of all tweeting activity. However, they weren’t able to reveal the actual message because it was sent by someone using a protected profile. Perhaps it was interesting and insightful? We’ll never know.

Twitter usage continues to grow at an exponential rate. It took more than 2 years to reach 1 billion tweets, 15 months to reach 10 billion, and the 20th billion is expected some time in July 2010. An estimated 600 tweets are sent per second resulting in 50 million per day.

It’s a worrying statistic. By 2020, Twitter will account for 99.4% of all Internet traffic and every man, woman and child on the planet will be sending 350 tweets every day. Should we be concerned? Retweet this post or tweet me to discuss it further…

Have a great weekend!

Craig BucklerCraig Buckler
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Craig is a freelance UK web consultant who built his first page for IE2.0 in 1995. Since that time he's been advocating standards, accessibility, and best-practice HTML5 techniques. He's created enterprise specifications, websites and online applications for companies and organisations including the UK Parliament, the European Parliament, the Department of Energy & Climate Change, Microsoft, and more. He's written more than 1,000 articles for SitePoint and you can find him @craigbuckler.

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