With Elon Musk’s acquisition of Twitter, here are five lesser-known facts about the platform

Elon Musk, Tesla CEO and the richest person in the world, acquired Twitter for $44 billion earlier this week. He plans to make the social networking platform private and said he wants Twitter to be a platform for free speech. The acquisition of Twitter, which has more than 400 million users, including some of the most popular politicians, celebrities and journalists, will have a major impact.

With Musk controlling Twitter, this will mark a shift in its current content moderation policies, which in recent years have aimed to limit hate speech and reduce misinformation. While many may be familiar with Twitter and Indian-born CEO Parag Agrawal, here are five facts about Twitter that might surprise you.

Twitter was almost called “Twitch”

Twitter was almost called Twitch. “We all looked at the Oxford English dictionary at TW, and we found the word Twitter,” co-founder Jack Dorsey said in the WNYC interview. “And Twitter stands for a short, inconsequential burst of information, bird chirps. And we were like, that describes exactly what we’re doing here. Once the name was finalized, the founding team wasn’t sure. using Twitter “because in some cultures it could be demeaning,” Dorsey says. “For example, Twit isn’t necessarily associated with the best things.” It took the team about two months to get used to the name. Twitter paid a “tiny” amount for Twitter.com, Dorsey says. Incidentally, Dorsey gave Elon Musk his full approval after the acquisition was announced.

Facebook tried to buy Twitter – twice

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg reportedly once told close friends that “[Twitter is] such a mess, it’s like driving a clown car into a gold mine and falling into it. The claim is made in Hatching Twitter: A True Story of Money, Power, Friendship, and Betrayal, a book by Nick Bilton of The New York Times where he documented the journey of Twitter. The book claims that Zuckerberg twice attempted to acquire Twitter through official channels and through co-founder Jack Dorsey. He apparently made this comment after both failed acquisitions.

And the crown for the most retweeted tweet goes to…

A tweet from a Japanese billionaire has become the most retweeted tweet of all time. Maezawa, the founder of Japanese online retailer Zozo Inc, took to Twitter on January 5, 2019 to give 100 randomly selected retweeters the chance to win a share of 100 million Japanese yen. “To enter, all you have to do is follow me and RT this tweet,” he said. The tweet produced over 5 million retweets, becoming the most retweeted tweet of all time. The last time a tweet caused a stir on such a scale was TV host Ellen DeGeneres’ Oscar selfie, which garnered more than 3.43 million retweets.

The very first tweet was posted on March 21, 2006

Jack Dorsey, one of the co-founders of Twitter, was the first person to post anything on Twitter. The tweet, which read “just setting up my twttr”, was first posted on March 21, 2006. Dorsey posted the first tweet at 9:50 p.m. Last year, Twitter founder Jack Dorsey’s very first tweet was sold for the equivalent of $2.9 million to a Malaysian-based businessman. It was sold as a non-fungible token (NFT). Dorsey said he would convert the proceeds to bitcoin and then donate it to Give Directly’s Africa Response fund.

Twitter didn’t invent the hashtag

Twitter never invented the hashtag, but Chris Messina did. Jack Dorsey’s Twitter was launched in July 2006 while the hashtag was used in August 2007 by Twitter user Chris Messina. Messina originally proposed using the hash or pound symbol before the keyword to make tweets easier to find. Twitter was a new platform at the time and Massina wanted to make tweets more searchable.

A product designer by profession, Messina came up with the idea of ​​using a hashtag from internet discussion forums. He decided to pitch the idea to Twitter, but the company told him it was “cheesy” and would never catch on. “I was a little down but I laughed,” he told CNBC in an interview. “I thought, I just don’t know how else we’re going to solve this problem.” Two months later, Chris urged users to tweet about the San Diego fire using hashtags, prompting Twitter to update its algorithm that made hashtags clickable. And the rest is history. Hashtags are used by millions of people on social media platforms to make their voices heard.

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