the 20 billionth message on Twitter this weekend, according to the number that appeared in the URL for his message.20 billion Tweets later, here we are, people. A Japanese graphic designer who likes baseball and The Doors published
The Guardian's David Batty caught sight of the landmark message, which read, translated into English: "So that means the barrage might come back later all at once." That message was posted on Saturday. More than 160 million more messages have already been Tweeted since then.
The author of the Tweet with the magical number was quickly told by others that his message was the 20 billionth. "It looks like I posted the 20 billionth tweet," he subsequently Tweeted. "I'm getting replies from people all over the world. It's scary. What are the chances? Maybe I'm going to die. Is it more amazing than winning the lottery? I thought it was a joke."
Batty writes that it took Twitter four years to see its first 10 billion Tweets but just the past five months to see the next 10 billion. (Facebook, for context, says it sees 100 billion "hits" every single day.)
It would be nice to know what percentage of those Tweets were sent by humans, and what percentage by robots, RSS feeds, Tweeting houseplants in need of watering and marketing sleazebags who re-Tweet reputable blogs' feeds automatically to give credence and cover to their occasionally original in-stream advertisements.
Too little is known, in fact, about those 20 billion messages - other than that they were written in 2 trillion 800 billion characters or less.
Twitter spokesperson Carolyn Penner aptly pointed out in response to our inquiry about the landmark, "If only I had a nickel for every Tweet. I'd be a billionaire." That is now literally true.
None the less, it makes me feel a little proud about my own 17,000+ Tweets. Just trying to do my little part to build the giant tower of Tweeted junk, wisdom, jokes, ephemera and poignancy. You can join the large and growing, but far from billion-Tweeting, ReadWriteWeb team on Twitter here.