Last month Twitter CEO Dick Costolo said that the company now employs “about 900 people”. I’ve been tracking Twitter’s staff count pretty closely for a few years now, and while it’s certainly true that Twitter’s hiring spree is on a major uptrend, with some serious growth in the past few weeks, either Costolo rounded up a little, or Twitter themselves are slow to update their own data, because their current roster looks to be set at 833 people.
Impressive, for sure – and by my calculations, Twitter should hire its 1000th employee before the end of this year.
Twitter’s staff count is freely available on Twitter’s employee page, which is updated very regularly. Right now, it’s showing 833 avatars. In my experience, this is a more reliable metric than the people that @Twitter is following (all employees, currently 822 follows) or @Twitter’s official team list (777 members).
By piecing together my own articles and that of other tech blogs who have been following Twitter over the past few years, I’ve been able to produce this chart, which details Twitter’s employee growth since January 2008, when the firm had just eight names on its books.
It’s a little bumpy, as you can see. Apologies for that, but data releases about Twitter staff have been sporadic at best, so there are periods here that are unaccounted for, resulting in the chart being a little bit squashed up. But two things stand out: one, how much Twitter has grown as an organization in just four years. And two, how their hiring rate seems to be accelerating in the last 12 months.
While the current spike is probably an anomaly, and looks more severe because I don’t have any data between June 2011 and this month, even relatively moderate growth at this point – such as that seen between March and June 2011 – should see Twitter reach 1,000 employees within about six months. With 170 hires or thereabouts to go, that might seem a little far fetched, but it’s worth noting that Twitter hired 73 people in one month in June last year, and the company is on a major talent acquisition run at the moment, and has been for months. And they’re always hiring.
Whatever the staff count is by the end of 2012, one thing is for certain: Twitter, Inc. is getting big. And it’s getting big fast.