Twitter CEO Dick Costolo revealed nine stunning new facts about Twitter during an interview at the Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco just a few hours ago (Monday, October 17.)

1. Twitter Is Growing 300% Faster…Thanks To “Mentor” Apple Buffer this

iOS 5 Integration Made Signups Increase 3x, Costolo said. Signups began jumping on the first day of iOS 5′s availability, October 12.

“Those guys [at Apple] are an amazing partner for us. When they think about products and enhancing products they think about editing them,” Costolo said. “[At Twitter] we’re going to offer simplicity in a world of complexity… they’re a corporate mentor to us.”

2. You Will Be Able To Access All Your Old Tweets And DMs Buffer this

As the final question at the Summit, O’Reilly writer Alex Howard asked when Twitter users will be able to access their Twitter histories, “I’ve got 49,119 tweets and 1/4 as many DMs, if Google has a Data Liberation Front, and 30% of your team is former Googlers, shouldn’t you guys be working on something similar?”

“It’s just a matter of priorities,” Costolo said, after joking, “You had to allow one more question.”

He said Twitter will “…get to the point when you’ll be able to…access old Tweets and old DMs.”

3. Video Ads Coming To Twitter Buffer this

Costolo said Twitter ads are “Working better than we could have ever hoped.” Twitter started with Promoted Tweets, followed up with Promoted Trends, and then began putting promoted Tweets in user timelines.

In the near future the plan is for photo and video-based advertising to appear in user timelines. Twitter’s CEO stressed that Twitter isn’t about to insert movie trailers into the timeline…yet.

They’re planning to experiment with lots of different ad formats that could be adopted across all users, depending on how users react.

4. Twitter Now Sends 250 Million Tweets Per Day, Up 177% Buffer this

From 90 million tweets per day a year ago to 100 million at the beginning of this year, Twitter is now serving a quarter billion tweets each day That’s more than a million tweets every 6 minutes!

Even if you could read a tweet a second, and you never slept, that means just a single day’s worth tweets would take you nearly eight years to read!

Just for fun, I calculated that if you counted backwards 250 million minutes from today

…it would be the year 1535!

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5. More Than Half Of Twitter Users Now Active Buffer this

At the beginning of 2011, less than a third of Twitter users were active on the service once per day: 30% of its 100 million users active daily in January 2011

Today, over 50% of Twitter users are active every day, a jump of 67% in user activity since January.

6. Twitter To Be On 2 billion Devices Worldwide Buffer this

Costolo said that he thinks Twitter can be on 2 billion devices around the world.

He said Twitter can “reach every person on the planet, and the way to do that is through simplifying.”

7. $2.3 Million Invested Per Twitter Employee, $1.6 billion in TotalBuffer this

Twitter now has over 700 employees and $1.6 billion in funding. Wow!

8. Twitter Preparing to Pay People To Tweet Buffer this

Costolo talked about sharing revenue with Twitter users that have popular and interesting tweets.

However, he pointed out that the pay-per-tweet model would NOT be the one they would follow. “Our thoughts are a little more nuanced [than paying for each tweet],” he said, adding that Twitter would have a “narrow set of publishers we would do that with.”

9. Twitter is now worth $8 BILLION Buffer this

When asked about the company’s valuation, Costolo said “Let’s just call it an even $8 billion.” Wow.

10. Bonus! Twitter Will Protect Users From Governments Buffer this

“One of our core values is respect and the need to defend the user’s voice,” Costolo explained. “In the case of the London riots…the majority of the tweets were more about organising cleans ups [rather than inciting violence].” Citing the motto of the company’s General Counsel, he said: “We are the free speech wing of the free speech party.”

Costolo cited a recent case where the US Government ordered Twitter to disclose the IP addresses and user information about four accounts linked to the Wikileaks affair.

“We went back of our own accord and argued for the right to let those four people know that their information was being requested so that they could fight it,” he stated.
“We provided these users with the ability to fight this request and I think a bunch of them are still doing so…That’s how we will behave in those cases where we can.”

Twitter sure has grown! What do you think of some of these changes? We’d love to discuss these changes with you in the comments below.

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  • Guy, note- the “buffer this” buttO
    n does not add the LINK

    • Hi Gila, thanks for the heads up. Just tested each one. Could you let me know which one of the buttons doesn’t add your link?

    • Thanks for watching out for us, Gila! I went through and checked them all just to be sure 🙂

  • video ads on Twitter sounds good. hope it is not auto play though. play on mouse-over might be fine though.

    • Auto-play would indeed be a bad idea! Probably they will test it one way or another but then avoid auto-play either through good sense or by testing 🙂

  • Chelsea

    Video ads should be interesting to see.  $8 Billion?! well, I’m not surprised, Twitter has been doing exceptionally well. 

  • Interesting that in four years Twitter has become an $8 billion company and has pretty much become the most popular method of communicating news, events, and ideas on the Internet.

  • Pingback: 8 Stunning New Facts About Twitter | Twitter Tips And Updates From Buffer | Web 2.0 journalism | Scoop.it()

  • This is amazing info!  Being able to access old tweets and dm’s, along with a twitter sponsored “pay” program is really quite remarkable.  I use twitter for my business, and it has helped my company’s growth tremendously.  Keep up the good work guys.  (p.s. let facebook have the front of the stage, they’re becoming over saturated…besides they’re more for newbies.  twitter on the other hand is more specialized…sort of like the relationship with PC’s and Macs) 

    • Fascinating comparison T v FB there Shane! Twitter seems to offer the most rewards for savvy users of any social network.

  • Twitting because of inspiration and desire to share with someone and tweetting for money – two different things. “Commercialization” is unlikely to kill Twitter, but make it less interesting. Doing that without seeking to profit can be obtained more interesting.  As for me this idea «Twitter Preparing to Pay People To Tweet» looking ineffectual.

    «Twitter now has over 700 employees and $ 1.6 billion in funding. Wow! »- Really WOW!

    • Yeah, it will be interesting to see how they “share revenue” with “content producers.” But agree on the funding per employee–amazing numbers!

  • All this info was interesting, but nowhere near stunning. The one data point I would like to know more about is active users. My definition of an active user is a user who tweets tweets, at least once per reporting period. So when twitter says they have 50% active daily users what is the action that they are measuring to define active. More data here would be helpful. I woulda really like to see a stratification report showing daily readers, daily users by number of tweets volume, etc.

    • Great question. Though I would characterize the 300% increase in signups as “stunning,” some of the other data certainly warrants a less hyperbolic characterization 🙂

      I’m trying to track down the data, but I remember Twitter reporting “active users” as users who logon to Twitter at least once/month. 40% of those, incidentally, don’t tweet, but only “listen” ( http://bit.ly/nBHvXn ).

      Daily active means logging on daily. Don’t know how they are averaging that.

    • Great question. Though I would characterize the 300% increase in signups as “stunning,” some of the other data certainly warrants a less hyperbolic characterization 🙂

      I’m trying to track down the data, but I remember Twitter reporting “active users” as users who logon to Twitter at least once/month. 40% of those, incidentally, don’t tweet, but only “listen” (http://bit.ly/nBHvXn ).

      Daily active means logging on daily. Don’t know how they are averaging that.

      • Great info Dave. I have an issue with counting daily log-ins. I read twitter daily. Facebook I rarely read. However, as a statistic, both services count me as a daily log-in. Why? Every day I turn my smartphone on and the Twitter and Facebook apps always keep me logged in. For me the most relevant statistic is who is adding content and who is registering a”click”on content. If a social media site can determine when I use an app to present info on my device screen screen and say that is an active (ie to capture only readers) use of their service, I would accept that statistic.

        • Agreed. Engagement is *definitely* a better metric than just logins. Twitter didn’t event share login data until earlier this year for the first time, so it will be interesting to see if they go beyond sharing that.

  • I completely ready for a career as a professional tweeter.  Where do I apply?

    The jump in Twitter sign-ups with the release of iOS 5 is amazing.  Perfect illustration of the marketing principle “Make it easy to buy” (and easy to use).

    • Yup, making it easy is the way to go! Just like BufferApp does with the Buffer button 🙂

  • Pingback: 9 Stunning New Facts About Twitter | Twitter Tips And Updates From Buffer | Cool webtools | Scoop.it()

  • Anonymous

    No, you BUFFER THIS!

    • Hi @mosquitonoise:disqus  thanks for the  heads up, that was a slight bug there, it should now normally show the Buffer button again. 🙂 

  • http://hide.dnsalias.net/tweetcounter/index-en.cgi
    Here shows tweets per second chart in last 24 hours and last year, and tweets per day chart in last year.

  • http://hide.dnsalias.net/tweetcounter/index-en.cgi
    Here shows tweets per second chart in last 24 hours and last year, and tweets per day chart in last year.

  • Lisha

    Hey Joel and Leo,

    Great informative article. That’s really cool that twitter is still growing. Good news for any of us who promote our websites, blogs, or products on Twitter 🙂

    I am featuring this article about your Stunning new facts about Twitter in my blog post tomorrow if you want to check it out at http://onlinemoneytrip.blogspot.com

    Thanks again for all your Twitter tips! You make the world a better place 🙂

    ~Lisha