One hundred million voices

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Five years ago, Twitter came to life when @jack sent the first Tweet to his seven followers. Now, 100 million active users around the globe turn to Twitter to share their thoughts and find out what’s happening in the world right now.

More than half of them log in to Twitter each day to follow their interests. For many, getting the most out of Twitter isn’t only about tweeting: 40 percent of our active users simply sign in to listen to what’s happening in their world.

Twitter’s global reach gives a voice to people around the world and as far away as the International Space Station. After launching Hindi, Filipino, Malay and Simplified and Traditional Chinese in the coming weeks, Twitter will support 17 different languages.

Our 100 million active users range from passionate early adopters to recent converts. They include:

Leaders. Thirty-five global heads of state use Twitter as a primary way to communicate with their constituencies, from @JuliaGillard in Australia to Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, @CFKArgentina. In the United States, frequent Tweeters include every Cabinet agency, 84 percent of state governors, and every major candidate for President. City leaders, like Mayors @CoryBooker of Newark and @MayorOfLondon among many more, share local news. More than 40 percent of the top global religious leaders are on Twitter, including @DalaiLama and the Pope, who sent his first Tweet from @news_va_en in June.

Athletes. Many US professional sports players are active on Twitter, including two-thirds of the NBA. Every team in the NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL and MLS tweets, as do cricket players in India, European football stars and many other celebrated athletes around the world. Fans and commentators join in for some of the most colorful conversations on Twitter.

Humanitarians. Additionally, over 99 percent of America’s top 200 non-profits are on Twitter. Recently, in response to Hurricane Irene, @Fema created a special list of accounts to follow for the most up-to-date and official information, while @redcross signed up lists of official volunteers to assist in four-hour shifts to disseminate the latest information to those affected by the storm.

Entertainers. Eighty-seven percent of Billboard’s Top 100 musicians of 2010 are active on Twitter, connecting with fans to engage their audiences. Each of the top 50 Nielsen-rated TV shows are represented on Twitter. And who doesn’t love a daily dose of hilarity from their favorite comedian? Both new talent like @MindyKaling and @AzizAnsari and seasoned pros like @SteveMartinToGo and @ConanOBrien keep us laughing.

Reporters. Major newsrooms from @AJEnglish to @WashingtonPost actively use Twitter to supplement their reporting efforts. Reporters share stories and photos from the front lines, like New York Times reporter Brian Stelter’s on-the-ground coverage of the devastating tornado that hit Joplin, MO in May. Ordinary citizens break news and give us a view we might otherwise miss, like the now-famous Space Shuttle image that was retweeted over 2,300 times, and the first photo of the US Airways plane that landed in the Hudson River in 2009.

Thanks to all of you, we have 100 million reasons to celebrate.