We’ve heard it before: 2009 was a watershed year for Twitter. Ashton Kutcher raced CNN to a million followers, Oprah signed up, and the Iranian protests used Twitter extensively that year. But how did the US react to this new “micro-blogging” network at the time?
Twitter was around for three years before it became a big deal.
Jack Doresy sent the first tweet in March 2006, and the other co-founders, their family and friends all signed up in those early days and started tweeting. But beyond this small group, Twitter wasn’t really popular in the US until 2009.
This short, 18 second video shows the growth of Twitter in the top 408 tweeting cities across the US, between March 2006 and August 2009. By the end of the video, you’re seeing a representation of 2.3 million registered Twitter users, visualized by how many new users sign up per week.
As Twitter adoption grows in these cities, the blue dots grow and turn red when Twitter use reaches critical mass (defined as “achieving 13.5% of the total number of users that city will gain over the three years”).
Take a look at this short video below to visualize just how quickly Twitter exploded in 2009: