Twitter Celebrates 20 Billion Tweets, 30 Billion Coming Soon

The 20 billionth tweet came from a user in Japan with the name GGGGGGo_Lets_Go, who posted a short, cryptic message in Japanese characters that roughly translated to "So that means the barrage might come back later all at once,” according to The Associated Press.

While the tweet itself had nothing to do with the milestone, “barrage” is an appropriate word to describe Twitter’s explosive growth during the last year and a half. The company, which describes itself as a “real-time information network,” hit 10 billion tweets in early March. According to GigaTweet, a site that tracks Twitter messages, the micro-blogging service will surpass 30 billion tweets in approximately 128 days.

Along with a rapidly increasing number of tweets, Twitter is also experiencing strong growth across the globe, as exhibited by an enormous spike in activity during the FIFA World Cup earlier this summer. “The World Cup final represented the largest period of sustained activity for an event in Twitter’s history,” the company said in official blog post, adding that people from 172 countries tweeted in 27 different languages during the game. In the final 15 minutes of the championship game, the number of tweets-per-second (TPS) surged to more than 2,000, with 3,051 TPS occurring during Spain’s game-winning goal.

While Twitter is enjoying huge numbers, the San Francisco-based company is still looking for ways to turn its popularity into cash. Twitter held its first developer conference, dubbed Chirp, in April and announced the “promoted tweets” feature for companies seeking to advertise on Twitter. Introduced in June, promoted tweets appear in trending topics or search results.

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In addition, Twitter has pledged to improve the site’s reliability. Frequent users are familiar with the company’s “fail whale” error message, which occurs when the site has been hit with too many tweets at a given time. To that end, Twitter announced plans last month to move its technical operations to a new, custom-built data center near Salt Lake City, Utah.