Social Media Matters: Seven things you didn’t know about Twitter

Social Media MattersSocial Media Matters
By Brian Cormier
Moncton Times & Transcript
Friday, March 22, 2013
Metro section

Seven things you didn’t know about Twitter

Business Insider recently published an interesting article by Eli Langer that highlighted seven things that many Twitter users likely don’t know about the very popular microblogging service.

1) Twitter nearly didn’t happen. The idea for Twitter only came to light after workers at Odeo, an audio service that helped users publish audio, came up with the idea during a brainstorming competition meant to save it from failure. The rest is history!

Twitter2) During the brainstorming, one of Twitter’s founders, Dom Sagolla, got the idea for Twitter while sitting at the top of a slide in a playground in San Francisco. You never know where inspiration will hit!

3) In Twitter’s first days, all tweets were automated and read, “Just setting up my twttr.” The first tweet was sent seven years ago on March 21, 2006 by Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey.

4) Canadian pop star Justin Bieber recently overtook Lady Gaga as the Twitter user with the most followers. Meanwhile, the user who has tweeted the most is @Yougakduan_00, a girl from Japan who sent an incredible 36,402,262 tweets (crazy!) before she was booted by Twitter. The most popular brand? YouTube!

5) Ever wonder how many verified accounts exist (the ones with the little blue checkmark verifying that the celebrity or public figure is really who they say they are on Twitter)? There are 47,815 verified accounts.

6) The name of the bird in Twitter’s logo? It’s Larry!

7) According to the article, “Twitter didn’t create retweets, replies, hashtags, a mobile app or social ads—it was created by users and developers in its ecosystem. Those features were later supported by Twitter.”

Current Twitter rankings

1) Justin Bieber; 2) Lady Gaga; 3) Katy Perry; 4) Rihanna; 5) Barack Obama; 6) Taylor Swift; 7) YouTube; 8) Britney Spears; 9) Shakira; 10) Ellen DeGeneres.

Top performing arts websites

Cirque du SoleilEvery week, I take a look at the top 10 websites in a category among’s website rankings. This week’s rankings are for all of you who love the performing arts. Statistics are current to March 19.

1) Cirque du Soleil (mix of circus arts and street entertainment); 2) (featuring theatre listings and showtimes for more than 1,900 separate venues); 3) Broadway World (theatre resource featuring news, message boards, video previews, show information, photos, etc.); 4) (magazine for fans of the theatre); 5) Actors Access (resume services, articles, audition monologues and links); 6) IMDb: Daniel Day-Lewis (career information on the three-time Oscar winner, including filmography, biography, photos and related links); 7) Belly Twins (website for belly dancers Veena and Neena from Los Angeles, including products, classes, events, photos, FAQ and newsletter); 8) Backstage (performing arts website for actors, including editorial and casting, auditions and job notices); 9) (400,000 sound effects and production music files); 10) James Randi Educational Foundation (magician and skeptic James Randi debunks psychics, medical frauds, televangelists, etc.).

This week’s featured YouTube channels

Every week, I feature YouTube channels for you to check out. Statistics are current to March 19. Have a favourite channel? Let me know and I may feature it here.

Jon Cozart
Jon Cozart

1) Paint (409,450 subscribers): YouTuber Jon Cozart spent an entire month producing the latest viral video to hit the Internet – a clever and very entertaining video called After Ever After focusing on possible “real” endings to the lives of Disney princesses. In just a couple of days, the video went viral and has earned approximately five million views so far.

In addition to After Ever After, enjoy 14 other videos that have accumulated a pretty incredible 33,455,648 total video views. Despite the popularity of After Ever After, Jon has another video that’s even more popular. (Most popular video: Harry Potter in 99 seconds – 13,046,325 views.)

Pope Francis I (Photo credit: Gregorio Borgia/AP)
Pope Francis I (Photo credit: Gregorio Borgia/AP)

2) The Vatican (51,229 subscribers): Newly elected Pope Francis I seems to be taking the media world by storm, probably because he seems a lot more likable than his predecessor. Because of that, the channel should see a correlative uptick in the number of subscribers. According to its official channel description: “This channel offers news coverage of the main activities of the Holy Father Pope Francis and of relevant Vatican events. It is updated daily. Video images are produced by Centro Televisivo Vaticano (CTV), texts by Vatican Radio (RV) and CTV.” Total video views: 8,892,628. (Most popular video: Announcement of Pope Benedict XVI’s resignation – 151,593 views.)

BBC3) BBC Expert Women (15 subscribers): The U.K.’s BBC network recently launched this new YouTube channel as “a women’s expert database and dedicated YouTube channel in an attempt to boost the number of female contributors featured on its TV and radio programs,” according to an article written by Emma Barnett and published March 19 in the British newspaper The Telegraph.

According to the article, the BBC and other media outlets have faced criticism for the lack of female experts they use in their reporting. This channel aims to rectify that. So far, the traction isn’t great with only 15 subscribers and just more than 200 total video views after one week. (Most popular video: Expert Women: Day One Training at the BBC Academy – 219 views.)

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