Twitter breaks the 20 billion mark

August 1, 2010

Twitter reached the 20 billion message mark on Saturday with a tweet from a graphic designer nicknamed “GGGGGGo_Lets_Go” from Tokyo. Like most tweets, the message itself did not make much sense when taken out of context. Neither did improve much on his next tweet when the poster found out about his newfound notoriety acquired from his unwilling involvement in achieving the mark:

“Looks like I posted the 20 billionth tweet. I’m getting replies from people all over the world. It’s scary. What are the chances? Maybe I’m going to die. Is it more amazing than winning the lottery? I thought it was a joke.”


Since 2006, Twitter has rapidly advanced in the Internet race. While it took four years to reach 10 billion tweets earlier this year in March, it took less than five months to double the figure thanks to its rapid increasing expansion worldwide.

It does not come as a surprise that the  tweet originated in Japan. Twitter Chief Executive Evan Williams traveled to Tokyo earlier this month to celebrate its success in Japan. Twitter has become wildly popular across the rising sun country. About 16 percent of Japanese Internet users tweet, surpassing the 9.8 percent of online Americans, and about 12 percent of all tweets on the system worldwide originate there. Japanese Twitter users also set a world record during the World Cup game in which Japan beat Denmark, at 3,283 tweets per second, mostly believed to have been Japanese.

One reason Twitter has been popular in Japan is that it’s possible to say much more with Japanese kanji characters within the 140-character limit. The word “magazine,” for example requires just two letters in Japanese.