5 Things You Probably Didn't Know About Twitter

On March 21, 2006, the social media website Twitter launched with the first tweet by co-founder Jack Dorsey. In honor of changing the way the Web works, we gathered these 5 cool facts you might not know about Twitter...


The Character Limit of the Tweet Was Increased in 2018 When Twitter started out, users were limited to posting 160 character messages. However, they generally posted 140 characters, which left the remaining 20 characters for a user’s username. Attachments, links, photos, videos and the user name no longer counted in the character limit starting in 2016.  In 2018, the text message limit was raised to 280 characters, which has changed the way people tweet compared to how they did during Twitter's earliest days.

Celebrities With the Most Followers on Twitter Singer Katy Perry has the highest number of Twitter followers at 107 million. Former President Barack Obama follows in the number two spot with 106 million people following his tweets. With about 105 million tweeters following him is Justin Beiber in third place. Twitter itself is the 16th most popular Twitter account, with around 56 million followers.


The Icon for Twitter Was Named for a Sports Legend The Twitter bird is named Larry after the iconic forward for the Boston Celtics Larry Bird. The original bird logo used from 2006 to 2009 was designed by a British man named Simon Oxley, and the new company bought the logo at iStock for about $15. Over the years, the logo has been fine-tuned with the last change being in 2012 with a design by Doug Bowman, the company’s creative director, and influencer designer.

A Japanese Billionaire Holds the Record for the Most Retweets Yusaku Maezawa, the Japanese billionaire who founded Zozotown, a brand of online fashions, offered cash to those who retweeted his message on January 5, 2019. The incentive to do so was his offer to share 100 million yen among 100 people. So far, retweeters have spread his message 4,678,539 times. As for regular users, analysis has shown that tweets containing images receive 150% more retweets than tweets without them.

Twitter Was Almost Named Twitch Jack Dorsey, the co-founder of Twitter, revealed that the original working title for the platform was “Twitch” because when someone received a message their phone would jitter and buzz. They ended up turning to the dictionary of all dictionaries - the Oxford English Dictionary - where “twitter” is defined as a short burst of inconsequential information like a bird chirp. Since it was exactly what the new platform was designed to do, that made the name "Twitter" an easy choice. The fact that the price for the domain name was cheap didn't hurt either.