Twitter thrives on love

It's taken a lot of love—and spreading the word—for Twitter to get to the place where it is now.


Fernando Alfonso III

Internet Culture

Published Dec 26, 2011   Updated Jun 2, 2021, 11:26 pm CDT

When a bird is born, its survival largely depends on the love and attention it gets from its parents.

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The same thing goes for the Twitter bird, the official logo for the micro-blogging service which has survived and thrived since 2006 thanks to media attention and word-of-mouth.

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Twitter grew by leaps and bounds between 2006 and 2009 thanks to “media attention and traditional social networks based on geographic proximity and socioeconomic similarity,” according to researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

“As with most technologies, the growth in popularity initially spread via young, tech-savvy ‘innovators,’ in this case from Twitter’s birthplace in San Francisco to greater Boston,” reported MIT News. “But the site’s popularity then took a more traditional route of traveling only short distances, implying face-to-face interactions; this approach made early adopters of Somerville, Mass., and Berkeley, Calif. — cities close to Boston and San Francisco, respectively.”

The study looked at data from 408 different cities where Twitter thrived and found that “location-based social networks and media attention still held sway over computer-based social networks.”

These cities included Santa Fe, Los Angeles, Baltimore, Las Vegas and Palm Beach, Fla.

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The study also cited early celebrity adapters like Ashton Kutcher and Oprah with helping to attract new accounts.

The following video shows what cities experienced the largest Twitter growth between March 2006 through early August 2009.

Photo by kopp0041

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*First Published: Dec 26, 2011, 8:27 pm CST