In this photo illustration, the archived Twitter account of former US President Donald Trump is shown on the phone screen with the Twitter logo in the background.
Sheldon Cooper | Light Rocket | Getty Images
ten years ago, Twitter The future looked bright. The company was capitalizing on an influx of funding in the social networking space, which eventually led to a 2013 initial public offering that raised $1.8 billion.
Now the company is back in private hands. And they happen to be in the hands of Elon Musk, the richest person in the world and one of the app’s most notorious instigators.
It’s a huge moment. Twitter has become a major place for people to discuss, joke, and happily in their political, sports, technology and financial circles. It also serves as a platform that gives a voice to the voiceless, and helps protesters organize and express themselves in repressed regimes around the world.
However, in recent years, Twitter and social media competitors have liked Facebook She has been at the center of controversy over the distribution of false news and misinformation, sometimes resulting in bullying and violence.
Investors are becoming concerned about Twitter as a business. The company has generally been unprofitable, and is struggling to keep up The Google And Facebook, they often kill popular products without real explanation.
Here’s a brief history of Twitter, which – despite its many flaws – is one of the most well-known companies to come out of Silicon Valley in the past 20 years.
In March, Jack Dorsey, Noah Glass, Biz Stone, and Evan Williams created Twitter, which was originally a side project that stemmed from the podcast tool Odeo. That month, Dorsey sent out his first tweet that read, “Just set up my twttr.”
In July, Twitter received a $100,000 Series A funding round led by Union Square Ventures. The popularity of the app started spreading after it was heavily promoted by the tech community during the annual South by Southwest conference.
Dorsey resigned as CEO in October, and was replaced by Williams. According to “Hatching Twitter” by journalist Nick Bilton, the Twitter board fired Dorsey over concerns about executive management style and public bragging.
Twitter’s popularity continued to rise, resulting in a high-profile appearance by Williams on the Oprah Winfrey talk show alongside celebrity Ashton Kutcher. Kutcher has also written about Williams and Stone as part of Time magazine number 100 time. Twitter is now a mainstream phenomenon.
Twitter has arrived in space, sending NASA astronaut Timothy Kramer the first tweet Live from outer orbit. But behind the scenes, management problems continued with Williams stepping down as CEO, and COO Dick Costolo taking his place.
Twitter became a primary social media tool used during the Arab Spring, the wave of anti-government protests across Egypt, Libya and Tunisia. Protesters used the site to publish reports and organize. As the Pew Research Center noted, Twitter’s role in “spreading breaking news” was not “not limited to the Arab uprisings — the death of Whitney Houston, for example, was announced on Twitter 55 minutes before the Associated Press confirmed the story.”
Twitter’s reach has expanded to 200 million active users. Barack Obama “used the platform to first publicly declare victory in the 2012 US presidential election, with a tweet viewed nearly 25 million times on our platform and widely distributed offline in print and audio media,” according to the companies’ filings.
Twitter became publicly available in November. Williams, Dorsey, and Costolo have a combined net worth of nearly $4 billion.
“I think we have a huge set of ideas and strategies for increasing the slope of the growth curve,” Costolo told CNBC at the time. “I will think of some of them as tactics, some of them broader strategies, in the service of doing what I have referred to as bridging the gap between the massive awareness of Twitter and the deep engagement of the platform.”
Slowing user growth has led to several stock drops and analyst ratings downgrades. Twitter also declared 2014 the year of the “selfie”.
Compared to competitors like Google, Facebook, and even LinkedIn, Twitter is starting to look like a bunch of garbage on the Internet. Twitter was still unprofitable because its advertising business struggled so hard against its larger competitors. Dorsey will also return as CEO of the company, while still holding the top position at his other company, Square (now roadblock).
Rumors began to circulate that Twitter was eyeing an acquisition, with Salesforce as a potential applicant. Meanwhile, Twitter and Facebook have been criticized for their role in allowing prominent users like Donald Trump, who would win the US presidential election that year, to spread misinformation without consequences.
“Having the president-elect at our service uses it as a direct line of communication allowing everyone to see what’s on his mind at the moment,” Dorsey said at the time. “We’re definitely entering a new world where everything is on the surface and we can all see that in real time and we can have conversations about it.”
For a moment, Twitter seemed to be on the mend. Its stock was finally heading higher as the company’s finances were improving. Meanwhile, Trump as president has continued to use Twitter as his megaphone. According to Twitter’s own data, “Trump was the most-traded global leader in the world and in the US” that year, CNBC reported.
Dorsey and Sheryl Sandberg, then Facebook’s chief operating officer, testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee about alleged interference by Russia-linked actors in the 2016 election. Trump and his fellow Republicans are increasingly speaking out about alleged political bias by Twitter and other social media sites.
“Indeed, from a simple business perspective and to serve the public conversation, Twitter is incentivized to keep all voices on the platform,” Dorsey said at the time.
Analysts have found correlations between President Trump’s voracious use of Twitter and various markets, including gold, underscoring the cultural power of Twitter. Trump met with Dorsey – “Jack had a constructive meeting with the President of the United States today at the invitation of the President,” a Twitter spokesperson said.
“They discussed Twitter’s commitment to protecting the health of public conversation ahead of the 2020 US election and ongoing efforts to respond to the opioid crisis,” the spokesperson said.
With Covid-19 spreading across the world, the spread of misinformation has dominated the online conversation. Twitter continued to struggle to grow its business. The service was also hacked that year, and the miscreants gained access to more than a dozen high-profile accounts, including those controlled by Joe Biden, Jeff Bezos, and Musk.
Twitter permanently banned Trump over inflammatory comments the president made during riots at the US Capitol in January that the company said could lead to “further incitement to violence.” Trump was alleging that Twitter employees “coordinated with the Democrats and the radical left in removing my account from their platform, to silence me.” Later, Dorsey abruptly resigned from his position as CEO and was replaced by Parag Agrawal, the company’s chief technology officer.
Musk has taken over Twitter after a protracted legal dispute that was to culminate this week in a trial in the Delaware Judicial Court. The Tesla The CEO agreed in April to pay Twitter $44 billion, but then tried to back out of the deal. He changed tack and chose to move forward, entering the company’s San Francisco office on Wednesday with what appeared to be a porcelain bathroom sink in his hands.
“Twitter HQ entry – let this sink in!” he is chirpwith a video of his entry.
Musk immediately began making changes, firing Agrawal, chief financial officer Ned Segal, and head of legal policy, Vijaya Jade.
Watch: Billionaire Elon Musk steps up to Twitter HQ, drowns out his hand
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