Inside Scoop: Twitter's inception was brief -- just like its messages
Welcome to the Inside Scoop.
I'm CNET.com's Kara Tsuboi, joined by Senior Writer Daniel Terdiman.
And today Daniel is working on an interesting story about Twitter and its origins.
And the Twitter folks held an offsite today.
And one of the tweets to come out of that meeting was the fact that Twitter was essentially created in 2 weeks.
-Clarify and explain that.
-So, Jack Dorsey who was the person who actually built Twitter originally
and is, you know, credited with being co-founder of Twitter, was at this sales conference today and was being interviewed on stage.
And apparently he said from what was tweeted out from the conference that Twitter was built in 2 weeks, and it was originally built just for SMS.
-So, 2 weeks for something that's really kinda taking the world by storm.
What were the original-- what was the original Twitter platform like back in '06?
-Yeah, the idea was for people to be able to send messages to each other, and, you know, through mobile
And the reason, you know, everybody else says that the reason that, you know, that a tweet have to be 140 characters is 'cause there was a limit of, I believe 160 characters for what could be sent over a text message.
So, this whole thing was a very small project that was, you know, a side project from the company that Dorsey was working at.
And it was just meant to be this like sort of new small communications medium, and I don't think anybody really ever imagined that it was gonna be what it turned out to be.
-Absolutely, I mean we obviously saw it rise to prominence in the 2008 Presidential Elections.
-And then here we are 4 years after that, 6 years after Twitter's founding, and look at what an amazing medium it is.
-I know it really kind of sets some records or really had a lot of traffic this election [unk].
-Yeah, Election Day alone they said there was 31 million tweets.
-Oh my gosh.
-And then, you know, they were putting out statistics [unk] the presidential debates and like the first presidential debate that was 10 million tweets sent.
And, I think the bulk of them had, you know, something about Big Bird and, yeah, and they also said
during the peak on Election Day this time there was 327,000 tweets per minute.
-That was right when the networks called the election for President Obama.
So, the numbers were astounding.
-And sometimes there can be problems however when everyone is tweeting about the same thing, and using the same hash tag.
Sometimes if you're following a certain trend your browser--
-Yeah, well actually, you know, there's a client called TweetDeck which Twitter owns right now.
And it's a really good way to, you know, view tweets,
you can set up columns for your, like your basic Twitter timeline, and your @mentions and direct messages and so forth.
You can also set up a column that's looking at all tweets that have a certain hash tag or keyword in them.
And normally that works just fine, but if there's a-- if you've got a source set up for a very popular trending topic like say, you know, hash tag debates which I did during, you know, the presidential debates which you find quickly.
So, there's so many tweets going so fast that it basically crashes the application.
And so today
Twitter said that they were, had rolled out a new update to TweetDeck that's meant to handle that problem and make it possible, you know, for the application to handle those floods of tweets.
Well, so from a 2 week experiment, a little project to--
-To 500 million tweets a day.
Thank you so much, Daniel Terdiman.
-I'm Kara Tsuboi.
Thanks for watching the Inside Scoop.