Twitter is finally stopping to catch its breath and report its own stats. The company said in a blog post today that it is now receiving and distributing 50 million posts per day, or 600 tweets per second. No moment undocumented, indeed.
That’s up from 35 million at the end of last year, growth of 1400 percent from 2.5 million at the start of 2009. It’s a dramatic leap, from 300,000 per day in 2008 and 5,000 per day in 2007. In retrospect, it’s funny to think that 2007’s SXSW conference is often cited as Twitter’s tipping point. The numbers just don’t even compare to today.
Twitter has suffered in the public eye when outsiders report its stats. For instance, comScore said last fall the site’s growth was stalling and Nielsen said last spring that most new Twitter users fail to come back the next month. Twitter, whose metrics are especially complicated because so many of its users connect to the service from applications made by outside vendors, could do little to confront or contextualize such stories, given it made so few of its own stats available.
Kevin Weil of the Twitter analytics team said today that the chart of tweet growth does not include spam, but didn’t give much other detail about how the tweet spread breaks down. We’d wonder how many tweets are from bots, how many from celebrities, how many from what countries, how many from the long tail.
We have to imagine Twitter’s excuses for holding back on bragging about its amazing growth are the fact it only just added its 140th employee — and that the team has often had more important things to deal with, like keeping its service from going down again. I spoke recently with folks from Twitter who said they’re considering making more data available and manipulable for the general public, but such a product has yet to be built. Weil mentioned in his post that tweet deliveries and search are other ways to measure Twitter growth.
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