From a small microblogging site skeptics toted as a place for narcissists to share their breakfasts, to the behemoth of news and information (and yes, pictures of food) it is today, there’s no doubt that Twitter has come a long way since its inception in 2006. Today, the almost six year old site reached a major landmark in social networking history: according to Mashable, Twitter snagged its 500 millionth user this afternoon.
While data studied over the last year indicated the target would be reached today, there was still some skepticism as to whether it would actually happen. User data comes from Twopcharts, a third-party Twitter analytics tool that tracks user activity, and not from Twitter itself. However, around 1pm E.T., Twopcharts announced that Twitter had registered its 500 million user; as of this writing, Twopcharts counted 500,036,359 Twitter users.
With no official word from Twitter itself, it’s still safest to take this information with a healthy dose of skepticism. According to The Next Web, Twitter declined to comment on both its amount of users and the accuracy of Twopcharts. Still, it’s hard to deny that Twitter has seen some exponential growth in the last year. It has swiftly become an integral part of how news organizations communicate with their audiences, and how audiences communicates with each other. For now, we’ll just have to wait for a Twitter announcement to officially confirm the 500 million user mark.