The Emergence of Twitter by Marc Acevedo


The book I chose to write about is “Hatching Twitter: A True Story of Money, Power, Friendship, and Betrayal” written by author, Nick Bilton. This book narrates the rise of one of the most influential companies in regards to human communication and social media, Twitter. Written chiefly to outline the power struggle that came about after the rise of twitter to a company with a mass user base upwards of 500,000,000 people.

The book while revolving around the lives of 4 engineers beginning from the inception of the idea to its fruition surprisingly does not go into that much detail about the technical side of the brainchild of these men. This is a facet of the novelist that I found interesting to a level. You would think that a book so deeply revolved around technology and innovation would take a moment to expound upon the inner workings and technical aspects of the aforementioned invention, but the writer instead circumvents this approach by referring to the processes and codes used to build twitter in a simple, rudimentary manner, simply calling it at times “computer talk.”

Enter the 4 main characters. The book centers its focus on four men. First is Evan Williams, a tough business partner and equally as tough inventive mind with a mercurial undertone to his persona. Evan by the inception of Twitter had already made a profit out of a pervious side venture he worked on called Blogger, which he would sell to Google for a sum still definitively unknown. Then there is Christopher Stone. Chris was a person of a different personality than his counterpart Evan. He held strong to his friendly relationships with his co-founders and never faltered despite growing drama and issues among the founders. He is also accredited with being one of the more creative minds of the four. Next, we have web developer Jack Dorsey. Touted as a great mind among other innovators, Jack is credited with being the one with the full concept of what Twitter would become and evolve to be. Finally, there is the scapegoat of the four, a lowly freelance hacker named Noah Glass. Noah was the one most connected to notion of creating twitter and according to Bilton, it is confirmed that it is thanks to Noah that Twitter is called, well, Twitter. Unfortunately, and to his dismay I might add, Glass was formally ousted from the group of execs before the IPO of Twitter. It is at this point where blood truly starts to boil and bitter arguments and drama ensue.

Despite the numerous feuds and arguments surrounding the founders, Twitter would grow to be, to this day, one of the most prominent forms of social media around. It’s ease of use, user interface, and restrictions on the length of “tweet” allowed for people from every age group, social demographic, and profession to utilize this social network to get across ideas, advertisements, and personal conveyances. Twitter is now one of the biggest social networks and some even say it has eclipsed the popularity, usefulness, and innovation of social network heavyweight Facebook. This is not to say though that Twitter has remained the same. Throughout the lifespan of Twitter on the internet, the social network has gone under many changes, and not just of the cosmetic nature. For example, while some may believe that the ever so popular “hash tag” was always around in the twitter-verse, this was only a concept introduced in the year 2007, close to a whole year after the founding and launch of the company. Other stapled Twitter features include but are not limited to the ability to post photos, add geo-tags, block users, and the ability to embed a link to follow a user from a third-party website without ever accessing the twitter website.

It is without a doubt that Twitter has changed the way not only Americans, but also people around the world go about their lives. It is through the aid of Twitter that immediate, up-to-date information about any given individual is available to us. The user-base of the website is so large that it has grown from nothing to almost 50 million users by the year 2010 alone.


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