FB-Twitter

Facebook (atau facebook) adalah sebuah layanan jejaring sosial dan situs web yang diluncurkan pada Februari 2004 yang dioperasikan dan dimiliki oleh Facebook, Inc.[1] Pada Januari 2011, Facebook memiliki lebih dari 600 juta pengguna aktif.[5][6] Pengguna dapat membuat profil pribadi, menambahkan pengguna lain sebagai teman dan bertukar pesan, termasuk pemberitahuan otomatis ketika mereka memperbarui profilnya. Selain itu, pengguna dapat bergabung dengan grup pengguna yang memiliki tujuan tertentu, diurutkan berdasarkan tempat kerja, sekolah, perguruan tinggi, atau karakteristik lainnya. Nama layanan ini berasal dari nama buku yang diberikan kepada mahasiswa pada tahun akademik pertama oleh administrasi universitas di AS dengan tujuan membantu mahasiswa mengenal satu sama lain. Facebook memungkinkan setiap orang berusia minimal 13 tahun menjadi pengguna terdaftar di situs ini.

Facebook didirikan oleh Mark Zuckerberg bersama teman sekamarnya dan sesama mahasiswa ilmu komputer Eduardo Saverin, Dustin Moskovitz dan Chris Hughes.[7] Keanggotaan situs web ini awalnya terbatas untuk mahasiswa Harvard saja, kemudian diperluas ke perguruan lain di Boston, Ivy League, dan Universitas Stanford. Situs ini secara perlahan membuka diri kepada mahasiswa di universitas lain sebelum dibuka untuk siswa sekolah menengah atas, dan akhirnya untuk setiap orang yang berusia minimal 13 tahun.

Studi Compete.com bulan Januari 2009 menempatkan Facebook sebagai layanan jejaring sosial paling banyak digunakan menurut pengguna aktif bulanan di seluruh dunia, diikuti oleh MySpace.[8] Entertainment Weekly menempatkannya di daftar “terbaik” akhir dasawarsa dengan komentar, “Bagaimana cara kita menguntit bekas kekasih kita, mengingat ulang tahun rekan kerja kita, mengganggu teman kita, dan memainkan permainan Scrabulous sebelum Facebook diciptakan?”[9] Quantcast memperkirakan Facebook memiliki 135,1 juta pengunjung bulanan di AS pada Oktober 2010.[10] Menurut Social Media Today pada April 2010, diperkirakan bahwa 41,6% penduduk Amerika Serikat memiliki akun Facebook.[11]

Daftar isi

[sembunyikan]

[sunting] Sejarah

!Artikel utama untuk bagian ini adalah: Sejarah Facebook dan Garis waktu Facebook

Mark Zuckerberg menciptakan Facemash, pendahulu Facebook, tanggal 28 Oktober 2003 ketika berada di Harvard sebagai mahasiswa tahun kedua. Menurut The Harvard Crimson, situs ini mirip dengan Hot or Not, dan menggunakan “foto yang diperoleh dari facebook (buku wajah) daring di sembilan asrama, menempatkan dua foto berdampingan pada satu waktu dan meminta pengguna memilih yang mana yang paling seksi”.[12][13]

Mark Zuckerberg membantu menciptakan Facebook di kamar asramanya di Harvard.

Untuk menyelesaikannya, Zuckerberg meretas ke bagian jaringan komputer Harvard yang dilindungi dan menyalin gambar-gambar ID pribadi asrama. Harvard pada waktu itu tidak memiliki “buku wajah” (direktori berisi foto dan informasi dasar) mahasiswa. Facemash menarik 450 pengunjung dan 22.000 tampilan foto pada empat jam pertama mengudara.[12][14]

Situs ini langsung diteruskan ke beberapa server grup kampus, namun dimatikan beberapa hari kemudian oleh administrasi Harvard. Zuckerberg dihukum karena menembus keamanan kampus, melanggar hak cipta, dan melanggar privasi individu, dan terancam dikeluarkan. Namun, hukuman tersebut dibatalkan.[15] Zuckerberg memperluas proyek awalnya ini pada semester tersebut dengan membuat peralatan studi sosial untuk menghadapi ujian final sejarah seni, dengan mengunggah 500 lukisan Augusta ke situs webnya, dengan satu gambar per halaman disertai kotak komentar.[14] Ia membuka situs tersebut kepada teman sekelasnya, dan mereka mulai saling berbagi catatan.

Pada semester berikutnya, Zuckerberg mulai menulis kode untuk situs web baru pada Januari 2004. Ia terinspirasi, katanya, oleh editorial The Harvard Crimson tentang insiden Facemash.[16] Pada 4 Februari 2004, Zuckerberg meluncurkan “Thefacebook” yang awalnya berada di situs thefacebook.com.[17]

Enam hari setelah situs ini diluncurkan, tiga senior Harvard, Cameron Winklevoss, Tyler Winklevoss, dan Divya Narendra, menuduh Zuckerberg sengaja mengalihkan mereka agar mereka percaya ia membantu mereka membuat jejaring sosial bernama HarvardConnection.com, sementara ia menggunakan ide mereka untuk membuat sebuah produk saingan.[18] Ketiganya mengeluh kepada Harvard Crimson, dan surat kabar ini memulai sebuah investigasi. Tiga senior tersebut mengajukan tuntutan hukum terhadap Zuckerberg yang akhirnya diselesaikan.[19]

Keanggotaan awalnya dibatasi kepada mahasiswa Harvard College saja, dan pada bulan pertama, lebih dari setengah mahasiswa sarjana di Harvard terdaftar di situs ini.[20] Eduardo Saverin (pebisnis), Dustin Moskovitz (programer), Andrew McCollum (seniman grafis), dan Chris Hughes segera bergabung dengan Zuckerberg untuk membantu mempromosikan situs web ini. Bulan Maret 2004, Facebook memperluas diri ke Stanford, Columbia, dan Yale.[21] Situs ini kemudian dibuka ke sekolah Ivy League lain, Universitas Boston, Universitas New York, MIT, dan secara perlahan beberapa universitas di Kanada dan Amerika Serikat.[22][23]

Facebook diinkorporasikan pada musim panas 2004, dan pengusaha Sean Parker, yang sering memberi saran kepada Zuckerberg, diangkat sebagai presiden perusahaan.[24] Bulan Juni 2004, Facebook memindahkan pusat operasinya ke Palo Alto, California.[21] Perusahaan ini menerima investasi pertamanya pada bulan itu dari pendiri pendamping PayPal, Peter Thiel.[25] Perusahaan ini menghapus The dari namanya setelah membeli nama ranah facebook.com pada tahun 2005 dengan nilai $200.000.[26]

Tanggal Pengguna Hari Pertumbuhan bulanan[N 2]
Total pengguna aktif[N 1] (juta)
Agustus 26 2008 100[27] 1.665 178.38%
April 8 2009 200[28] 225 13.33%
September 15 2009 300[29] 150 10%
Februari 5 2010 400[30] 143 6.99%
Juli 21 2010 500[31] 166 4.52%
Januari 05 2011 600[32][N 3] 168 3.57%
700 341 (berlangsung)

Facebook meluncurkan versi sekolah menengah atas pada September 2005 yang dianggap Zuckerberg sebagai tahap logis selanjutnya.[33] Pada waktu itu, jaringan sekolah menengah membutuhkan undangan untuk bergabung.[34] Facebook kemudian memperluas persyaratan keanggotaannya kepada karyawan dari sejumlah perusahaan, termasuk Apple Inc. dan Microsoft.[35] Facebook kemudian dibuka tanggal 26 September 2006 kepada setiap orang yang berusia 13 tahun dan ke atas dengan alamat surel yang sah.[36][37]

Pada 24 Oktober 2007, Microsoft mengumumkan bahwa mereka telah membeli 1,6% saham Facebook senilai $240 juta, sehingga memberikan Facebook nilai sebesar $15 milyar.[38] Pembelian oleh Microsoft ini meliputi hak mereka untuk menempatkan iklan internasional di Facebook.[39] Bulan Oktober 2008, Facebook mengumumkan bahwa mereka akan membuka kantor pusat internasional di Dublin, Irlandia.[40] Bulan September 2009, Facebook mengatakan bahwa mereka mengalami arus kas positif untuk pertama kalinya.[41] Bulan November 2010, menurut SecondMarket Inc., sebuah bursa saham perusahaan swasta, nilai Facebook mencapai $41 milyar (mengalahkan eBay secara tipis) dan menjadi perusahaan web terbesar ketiga di AS setelah Google dan Amazon.[42] Facebook telah diincar sebagai kandidat berpotensi untuk penawaran umum perdana pada 2013.[43]

Lalu lintas ke Facebook meningkat stabil setelah 2009. Jumlah pengunjung Facebook mengalahkan Google pada 13 Maret 2010.[44] Facebook juga menjadi jejaring sosial teratas dari delapan pasar perorangan di Asia, yaitu Filipina, Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapura, Selandia Baru, Hong Kong dan Vietnam, sementara merek lain masih mempertahankan posisi teratas mereka di beberapa pasar, termasuk Orkut milik Google di India, Mixi.jp di Jepang, CyWorld di Korea Selatan, dan Wretch.cc milik Yahoo! di Taiwan.[rujukan?]

Search Wikinews Wikinews bahasa Inggris memberitakan: Facebook reaches 500 million users

[sunting] Perusahaan

Pintu masuk ke kantor pusat Facebook di Stanford Research Park, Palo Alto, California.

Sebagian besar pendapatan Facebook berasal dari periklanan. Microsoft adalah rekan eksklusif Facebook untuk melayani iklan spanduk,[45] dan Facebook hanya melayani iklan yang masuk dalam inventaris iklan Microsoft. Menurut comScore, sebuah perusahaan riset pemasaran Internet, Facebook memperoleh data dari pengunjung sama banyaknya dengan Google dan Microsoft, namun sedikit kurang dari Yahoo!.[46] Tahun 2010, tim keamanan Facebook mulai memperluas upayanya untuk mengurangi risiko privasi pengguna.[47] Pada 6 November 2007, Facebook meluncurkan Facebook Beacon yang kemudian menjadi usaha gagal untuk beriklan kepada teman pengguna menggunakan cara “apa yang dibeli teman”.

Facebook umumnya memiliki tingkat klik (CTR) yang lebih rendah untuk iklan daripada situs-situs web besar lainnya. Untuk iklan spanduk, mereka menerima seperlima jumlah klik di Facebook jika dibandingkan dengan Web secara keseluruhan.[48] Ini berarti bahwa persentase kecil pengguna Facebook mengklik iklan lebih banyak dibanding situs web lain. Misalnya, pengguna Google mengklik iklan pertama pada hasil pencarian dengan rata-rata 8% dalam satu waktu (80.000 klik untuk setiap satu juta pencarian),[49] sementara pengguna Facebook mengklik iklan dengan rata-rata 0,04% dalam satu waktu (400 klik untuk setiap satu juta halaman).[50]

Sarah Smith, dulunya Manajer Operasi Penjualan Daring Facebook, mengakui bahwa kampanye periklanan mereka memiliki tingkat klik serendah 0,05% sampai 0,04%, dan tingkat klik untuk iklan cenderung menurun dalam dua minggu.[51] Tingkat klik di jejaring sosial saingan, MySpace, jika dibandingkan berkisar 0,1%, 2,5 kali lebih baik dari Facebook tetapi masih rendah dibandingkan dengan situs web lain. Penjelasan untuk tingkat klik Facebook yang rendah adalah bahwa pengguna Facebook lebih cerdas secara teknologi dan menggunakan perangkat pemblokiran iklan untuk menyembunyikan iklan, penggunanya lebih muda dan lebih pintar dalam mengabaikan pesan iklan. Di MySpace, pengguna menghabiskan lebih banyak waktu menjelajahi isinya, sementara di Facebook, pengguna menghabiskan waktu mereka berkomunikasi dengan teman dan perhatian mereka teralihkan dari iklan.[52]

Tahun Pendapatan Pertumbuhan
Pendapatan
(diperkirakan, dalam juta US$)
2006 $52[53]
2007 $150[54] Kesalahan ekspresi: Karakter tanda baca “[” tak dikenali%
2008 $280[55] Kesalahan ekspresi: Karakter tanda baca “[” tak dikenali%
2009 $775[56] Kesalahan ekspresi: Karakter tanda baca “[” tak dikenali%
2010 $2.000[57] Kesalahan ekspresi: Karakter tanda baca “[” tak dikenali%

Di halaman merek dan produk, sejumlah perusahaan melaporkan tingkat klik setinggi 6,49% untuk kiriman Dinding.[58] Involver, sebuah platform pemasaran sosial, mengumumkan pada Juli 2008 bahwa mereka berusaha memperoleh tingkat klik 0,7% di Facebook (10 kali lebih tinggi dari tingkat klik kampanye iklan Facebook) untuk klien pertamanya, Serena Software, yang berusaha mengubah 1,1 juta tampilan menjadi 8,000 kunjungan ke situs mereka.[59] Studi menunjukkan bahwa untuk iklan video di Facebook, hampir 40% pengguna yang melihat video tersebut menyaksikan keseluruhannya, sementara rata-rata industri adalah 25% untuk iklan video spanduk.[60]

Facebook memiliki lebih dari 1.700 karyawan dan kantor di 12 negara.[61] Mengenai kepemilikan Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg memiliki 24% saham perusahaan, Accel Partners 10%, Digital Sky Technologies 10%,[62] Dustin Moskovitz 6%, Eduardo Saverin 5%, Sean Parker 4%, Peter Thiel 3%, Greylock Partners dan Meritech Capital Partners antara 1 – 2% masing-masing, Microsoft 1.3%, Li Ka-shing 0.75%, Interpublic Group kurang dari 0.5%, sekelompok kecil karyawan dan bekas karyawan serta selebriti masing-masing memiliki kurang dari 1%, termasuk Matt Cohler, Jeff Rothschild, Adam D’Angelo, Chris Hughes, dan Owen Van Natta, sementara Reid Hoffman dan Mark Pincus memiliki kepemilikan yang agak besar di perusahaan ini, dan 30% sisanya dimiliki oleh karyawan, sejumlah selebriti, dan investor asing.[63] Adam D’Angelo, kepala bidang teknologi dan teman Zuckerberg, mengundurkan diri pada Mei 2008. Beberapa laporan mengklaim bahwa ia dan Zuckerberg mulai bertengkar, dan ia tidak lagi tertarik dengan kepemilikan perusahaan ini.[64]

Pada 15 November 2010, Facebook mengumumkan bahwa mereka telah memperoleh FB.com dari American Farm Bureau Association dengan nilai yang tidak disebutkan. Pada 11 Januari 2011, Farm Bureau mengumumkan “pendapatan penjualan ranah” sebesar US$8,5 juta, sehingga pembelian FB.com menjadi satu dari sepuluh penjualan ranah termahal sepanjang sejarah.[65]

[sunting] Situs web

!Artikel utama untuk bagian ini adalah: Fitur Facebook dan Facebook Platform

Halaman utama Facebook menampilkan formulir log masuk di kanan atas untuk pengguna terdaftar, dan formulir pendaftaran di bawahnya untuk pengunjung baru.

Pengguna dapat membuat profil dilengkapi foto, daftar ketertarikan pribadi, informasi kontak, dan informasi pribadi lain. Pengguna dapat berkomunikasi dengan teman dan pengguna lain melalui pesan pribadi atau umum dan fitur obrolan. Mereka juga dapat membuat dan bergabung dengan grup ketertarikan dan “halaman kesukaan” (dulu disebut “halaman penggemar” hingga 19 April 2010), beberapa di antaranya diurus oleh banyak organisasi dengan maksud beriklan.[66]

Untuk mencegah keluhan tentang privasi, Facebook mengizinkan pengguna mengatur privasi mereka dan memilih siapa saja yang dapat melihat bagian-bagian tertentu dari profil mereka.[67] Situs web ini gratis untuk pengguna dan mengambil keuntungan melalui iklan seperti iklan spanduk.[68] Facebook membutuhkan nama pengguna dan foto profil (jika ada) agar dapat diakses oleh setiap orang. Pengguna dapat mengontrol siapa saja yang dapat melihat informasi yang mereka bagikan, juga menemukannya melalui pencarian dengan memanfaatkan pengaturan privasi.[69]

Profil Facebook tahun 2011.

Media sering memperbandingkan Facebook dengan MySpace, namun satu perbedaan utama di antara kedua situs tersebut adalah tingkat kustomisasinya.[70] Perbedaan lainnya adalah persyaratan Facebook agar pengguna dapat mengatur identitas asli mereka, dan langkah tersebut tidak diterapkan di MySpace.[71] MySpace mengizinkan pengguna mendekorasi profil mereka menggunakan HTML dan Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), sementara Facebook hanya mengizinkan teks mentah.[72] Facebook memiliki sejumlah fitur yang dapat berinteraksi dengan pengguna. Salah satunya adalah Dinding, kotak di setiap halaman profil pengguna yang mengizinkan teman mereka mengirimkan pesan kepada pengguna tersebut;[73] Colek, yang memungkinkan pengguna mengirimkan “colekan” virtual satu sama lain (pemberitahuan memberitahu pengguna bahwa mereka telah dicolek);[74] Foto, tempat pengguna dapat mengunggah album dan foto;[75] dan Status, yang memungkinkan pengguna untuk memberitahukan teman mereka mengenai keberadaan dan tindakan mereka saat itu.[76] Tergantung pengaturan privasinya, setiap orang yang dapat melihat sebuah profil pengguna dapat juga melihat Dinding pengguna. Bulan Juli 2007, Facebook mulai mengizinkan pengguna mengirimkan lampiran di Dinding, berbeda dari Dinding sebelumnya yang terbatas pada konten teks saja.[73]

Antarmuka pengguna grafis Facebook pada telepon genggam

Sepanjang waktu, Facebook menambahkan fitur ke situsnya. Pada 6 September 2006, News Feed diluncurkan yang ditempatkan di setiap halaman utama pengguna dan memberitahukan informasi seperti perubahan profil, acara berikutnya, dan ulang tahun teman pengguna.[77] Hal ini memungkinkan pengirim spam dan pengguna lain memainipulasi fitur-fitur tersebut dengan membuat acara bohong atau ulang tahun bohong demi menarik perhatian ke profil atau kampanye tersebut.[78] Awalnya, News Feed memunculkan ketidakpuasan di antara pengguna Facebook; sejumlah di antaranya mengeluh karena terlalu berantakan dan penuh dengan informasi yang tidak perlu, sementara pengguna lain menganggapnya mudah bagi pengguna untuk melacak aktivitas seseorang (seperti perubahan status hubungan, acara, dan percakapan dengan pengguna lain).[79]

Sebagai respon, Zuckerberg mengirimkan permintaan maafnya atas kegagalan situs ini untuk memasukkan fitur privasi yang dapat diatur sendiri. Sejak itu, pengguna mulai mendapat kontrol terhadap jenis-jenis informasi apa saja yang dapat dibagikan secara otomatis kepada teman. Sekarang pengguna mampu mencegah sekelompok teman melihat pembaruan aktivitas-aktivitasnya seperti perubahan profil, kiriman Dinding, dan teman yang baru ditambahkan.[80]

Tanggal 23 Februari 2010, Facebook diberikan paten[81] terhadap serangkaian aspek News Feed-nya. Paten ini mencakup News Feed ketika pranala dikirimkan sehingga satu pengguna dapat berpartisipasi dalam aktivitas yang sama seperti pengguna lain.[82] Paten ini mendorong Facebook untuk mengambil tindakan terhadap situs-situs yang melanggar patennya, seperti Twitter.[83]

Salah satu aplikasi paling populer di Facebook adalah Foto, tempat pengguna dapat mengunggah album dan foto.[84] Facebook mengizinkan pengguna untuk mengunggah foto dalam jumlah tak terbatas, dibandingkan layanan penyimpanan gambar seperti Photobucket dan Flickr yang membatasi jumlah foto yang dapat diunggah seseorang. Pada tahun-tahun pertamanya, pengguna Facebook dibatasi untuk mengunggak 60 foto per album. Pada Mei 2009, batas ini dinaikkan menjadi 200 foto per album.[85][86][87][88]

Pengaturan privasi dapat diatur untuk album individu yang membatasi kelompok pengguna yang dapat melihatnya. Misalnya, privasi suatu album diatur sedemikian rupa sehingga hanya teman pengguna yang bisa melihatnya, sementara privasi album lain diatur sehingga semua pengguna Facebook bisa melihatnya. Fitur lain dari aplikasi Foto adalah kemampuannya untuk “tag“, atau menandai pengguna di sebuah foto. Misalnya, jika sebauh foto berisi seorang teman pengguna, maka pengguna dapat menandai temannya di foto tersebut. Tindakan tersebut mengirimkan pemberitahuan kepada teman yang ditandai dan memberikan mereka tautan untuk melihat foto tersebut.[89]

Profil Thefacebook tahun 2005

Profil Facebook tahun 2007

Facebook Notes diperkenalkan pada 22 Agustus 2006, sebuah fitur blog yang mengizinkan tag dan penanaman gambar. Pengguna dapat mengimpor blog dari Xanga, LiveJournal, Blogger, dan layanan blog lain.[36] Sepanjang minggu 7 April 2008, Facebook merilis aplikasi pesan instan berbasis Comet[90] bernama “Chat” ke sejumlah profil,[91] yang mengizinkan pengguna berkomunikasi dengan teman dan fungsinya sama seperti pengantar pesan instan berbasis desktop.

Facebook meluncurkan Gifts pada 8 Februari 2007 yang memungkinkan pengguna mengirimkan hadiah virtual kepada temannya yang muncul di profil penerima. Masing-masing hadiah berharga $1,00 dan pesan pribadi dapat disertakan pada setiap hadiah.[92][93] Tanggal 14 Mei 2007, Facebook meluncurkan Marketplace, yang memungkinkan pengguna mengirimkan iklan pendek gratis.[94] Marketplace telah dibanding-bandingkan dengan Craigslist oleh CNET, yang menunjukkan bahwa perbedaan utama antara keduanya adalah daftar yang dikirimkan pengguna di Marketplace hanya bisa dilihat oleh pengguna yang berada di jaringan yang sama seperti pengguna tersebut, sementara daftar yang dikirimkan di Craigslist dapat dilihat oleh semua orang.[95]

Tanggal 20 Juli 2008, Facebook meluncurkan “Facebook Beta”, yaitu desain ulang antarmuka penggunanya pada beberapa jaringan. Mini-Feed dan Dinding digabungkan, profil dipisah menjadi tab, dan mereka berusaha untuk membuatnya terlihat lebih “sederhana”.[96] Setelah awalnya memberi pengguna pilihan untuk pindah, Facebook mulai memindahkan semua pengguna ke versi halaman baru pada September 2008.[97] Tanggal 11 Desember 2008, diumumkan bahwa Facebook sedang menguji proses pendaftaran yang lebih mudah.[98]

Tanggal 13 Juni 2009, Facebook memperkenalkan fitur “Usernames”, yaitu halaman-halaman dapat ditautkan menggunakan URL yang lebih simpel seperti http://www.facebook.com/facebook dibandingkan dengan http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=20531316728.[99] Banyak telepon pintar baru menawarkan akses ke Facebook melalui peramban web atau aplikasi mereka. Aplikasi Facebook yang resmi diluncurkan untuk iPhone OS, Android OS, dan WebOS. Nokia dan Research In Motion menyediakan aplikasi Facebook pada telepon genggam mereka. Lebih dari 150 juta pengguna aktif mengakses Facebook melalui telepon genggam yang terdaftar pada 200 operator di 60 negara.

Tanggal 15 November 2010, Facebook mengumumkan layanan “Facebook Messages” baru. Pada media hari itu, CEO Mark Zuckeberg mengatakan, “memang benar bahwa seseorang dapat memperoleh alamat surel @facebook.com, namun itu bukan surel.” Peluncuran fitur tersebut telah diantisipasi sementara waktu sebelum pengumuman ini, dengan sejumlah pengamat menyebutnya sebagai “pembunuh Gmail”. Sistem ini, yang akan diluncurkan kepada semua pengguna situs tersebut, menggabungkan pesan teks, pesan instan, surel, dan pesan reguler, dan akan meliputi pengaturan privasi sama seperti layanan Facebook. Dijuluki “Project Titan”, Facebook Messages memakan 15 bulan dalam pengembangannya.[100][101]

[sunting] Penerimaan

Menurut comScore, Facebook adalah situs jaringan sosial terdepan berdasarkan jumlah pengunjung bulanan dan mengalahkan pesaing utamanya, MySpace pada April 2008.[102] ComScore melaporkan bahwa Facebook menarik 130 juta pengunjung pada Mei 2010, sebuah peningkatan sebesar 8,6 juta orang.[103] Menurut Alexa, peringkat Facebook di antara seluruh situs web menurut lalu lintas dunia naik dari 60 ke 7 mulai September 2006 hingga September 2007, dan saat ini peringkat ke-2 tertinggi di dunia.[104] Quantcast[105] dan Compete.com[106] menempatkan Facebook pada peringkat ke-2 menurut lalu lintas di AS. Situs web ini adalah yang paling populer untuk mengunggah foto, dengan total 50 milyar unggahan foto.[107] Tahun 2010, Sophos “Security Threat Report 2010” melakukan pemungutan suara dari 500 firma, 60% di antaranya mengatakan bahwa mereka percaya Facebook adalah jaringan sosial yang memiliki ancaman keamanan terbesar dibandingkan MySpace, Twitter, dan LinkedIn.[47]

Facebook adalah salah satu situs jaringan sosial paling populer di sejumlah negara penutur bahasa Inggris, termasuk Kanada,[108] Britania Raya,[109] dan Amerika Serikat.[110][111][112][113] Pada pasar Internet regional, penetrasi Facebook tertinggi ada di Amerika Utara (69%), diikuti Timur Tengah-Afrika (67%), Amerika Latin (58%), Eropa (57%), dan Asia-Pasifik (17%).[114]

Situs ini telah memenangkan berbagai penghargaan seperti “Top 100 Classic Websites” oleh PC Magazine tahun 2007,[115] dan “People’s Voice Award” dari Webby Awards tahun 2008.[116] Dalam studi tahun 2006 yang dilakukan Student Monitor, sebuah perusahaan riset pasar mahasiswa perguruna tinggi yang berbasis di New Jersey, Facebook disebut sebagai hal yang paling populer kedua di antara para sarjana, sejajar dengan bir dan kurang populer dibandingkan iPod yang menempati peringkat pertama.[117]

Bulan Maret 2010, Hakim Richard Seeborg mengeluarkan perintah menyetujui penyelesaian kelompok dalam kasus Lane v. Facebook, Inc., tuntutan hukum kelompok yang muncul karena program Facebook Beacon.

Tahun 2010, Facebook memenangkan “Best Overall Startup or Product” dari Crunchie untuk ketiga kalinya secara berturut-turut[118] dan diakui sebagai salah satu “Perusahaan Silicon Valley Terbaik” oleh Lead411.[119] Tetapi, menurut survei bulan Juli 2010 oleh American Customer Satisfaction Index, Facebook mendapatkan skor 64 dari 100 dan menempatkannya di bawah dari seluruh perusahaan swasta menurut kepuasan pelanggan, bersama industri-industri seperti sistem berkas elektronik IRS, maskapai penerbangan dan perusahaan kabel. Alasan Facebook mendapat skor rendah yaitu masalah privasi, sering berubahnya antarmuka situs, hasil yang diberikan News Feed, dan spam.[120]

Bulan Desember 2008, Mahkamah Agung Teritori Ibu Kota Australia mengeluarkan aturan bahwa Facebook merupakan protokol yang sah untuk melayani pemberitahuan pengadilan kepada terdakwa. Ini merupakan pengadilan hukum pertama di dunia yang menetapkan bahwa panggilan pengadilan yang dikirimkan melalui Facebook adalah ikatan hukum.[121] Bulan Maret 2008, hakim pembantu Pengadilan Tinggi Selandia Bru, David Glendall mengizinkan pelayanan berkas hukum Craig Axe oleh perusahaan Axe Market Garden dilakukan melalui Facebook.[122] Perusahaan (seperti Virgin Atlantic Airways) juga menggunakan Facebook dengan maksud agar tetap terhubung dengan karyawan mereka dan pernah memecat karyawan karena kiriman mereka.[123]

Pada 2005, pemakaian Facebook sudah sangat meluas sehingga kata kerja “facebooking” mulai digunakan untuk menjelaskan proses pencarian profil seseorang atau memperbarui profil diri sendiri.[124] Bulan 2008, Collins English Dictionary mengumumkan “Facebook” sebagai Kata Tahun Ini.[125] Bulan Desember 2008, New Oxford American Dictionary mengumumkan kata tahun ini adalah kata kerja “unfriend” yang didefinisikan sebagai “Menghapus seseorang sebagai ‘teman‘ di sebuah situs jaringan sosial seperti Facebook. Misalnya, ‘I decided to unfriend my roommate on Facebook after we had a fight.'”[126]

Pada April 2010, menurut The New York Times, negara yang memiliki pengguna Facebook terbanyak adalah Amerika Serikat, Britania Raya dan Indonesia.[127] Indonesia telah menjadi negara dengan jumlah pengguna Facebook terbanyak kedua di dunia setelah Amerika Serikat dengan 24 juta pengguna atau 10% dari total penduduk Indonesia.[128] Pada awal 2010, Openbook didirikan, sebuah situs web parodi (dan advokasi pribadi)[129] yang memungkinkan pencarian berbasis teks terhadap kiriman-kiriman Dinding yang tersedia bagi “Semua orang” di Internet.

Penulis The Wall Street Journal menemukan pada 2010 bahwa aplikasi Facebook mengirimkan informasi identifikasi kepada “lusinan perusahaan periklanan dan pelacakan Internet”. Aplikasi tersebut menggunakan referer HTTP yang memaparkan identitas pengguna dan teman-temannya. Facebook mengatakan, “Kami telah melakukan tindakan untuk mematikan semua aplikasi yang melanggar peraturan kami”.[130]

[sunting] Kritik

!Artikel utama untuk bagian ini adalah: Kritik terhadap Facebook

Facebook telah menghadapi berbagai kontroversi. Situs ini telah diblokir di beberapa negara termasuk Republik Rakyat Cina,[131] Vietnam,[132] Iran,[133] Uzbekistan,[134] Pakistan[135] Suriah,[136] dan Bangladesh atas alasan yang berbeda-beda. Misalnya karena anti-Islam dan konten diskriminasi agama yang diizinkan oleh Facebook, situs ini dilarang di banyak negara di dunia. Selain itu, Facebook juga dilarang di beberapa perkantoran untuk mencegah karyawan membuang-buang waktu.[137] Privasi pengguna Facebook juga dipermasalahkan dan keamanan akun pengguna telah ditembus beberapa kali. Facebook berhasil menyelesaikan tuntutan hukum mengenai klaim kode sumber dan properti intelektual.[138]

[sunting] Dampak politik

Panggung debat Facebook – Saint Anselm College tahun 2008.

Peran Facebook pada proses politik Amerika Serikat muncul pada Januari 2008 sesaat sebelum Pendahuluan New Hampshire, ketika Facebook bersama ABC dan Saint Anselm College bekerjasama untuk mengizinkan pengguna memberi umpan balik langsung mengenai debat antara Partai Repbulik dan Demokrat tanggal 5 Januari.[139][140][141] Charles Gibson menjadi moderator debat yang diadakan di Dana Center for the Humanities di Saint Anselm College. Pengguna Facebook turut berpartisipasi dalam grup debat yang diatur berdasarkan topik tertentu, mendaftar untuk memilih, dan mengirim pertanyaan.[142]

Lebih dari 1.000.000 orang menginstal aplikasi ‘US politics’ di Facebook agar dapat berpartisipasi, dan aplikasi ini mengukur respon pengguna terhadap komentar tertentu yang dilontarkan oleh kandidat debat.[143] Debat ini menunjukkan kepada komunitas masyarakat tentang apa yang telah dialami remaja saat ini: Facebook adalah cara baru yang sangat populer dan kuat untuk berinteraksi dan menyuarakan pendapat. Artikel yang ditulis Michelle Sullivan di Uwire.com mengilustrasikan bagaimana “efek facebook” telah memengaruhi tingkat suara remaja, mendukung kandidat politik muda, dan keterlibatan umum populasi remaja pada pemilu 2008.[144]

Pada Februari 2008, sebuah grup Facebook bernama “One Million Voices Against FARC” mengadakan acara yang dihadiri ratusan ribu penduduk Kolombia yang memrotes Angkatan Bersenjata Revolusioner Kolombia, dikenal sebagai FARC (dari kepanjangannya yang berbahasa Spanyol).[145] Bulan Agustus 2010, salah satu situs pemerintah resmi Korea Utara, Uriminzokkiri, bergabung dengan Facebook.[146]

Tahun 2010, seorang direktur kesehatan masyarakat Inggris yang memimpin staf untuk meneliti sifilis, mempertautkan dan menyalahkan kenaikan kasus sipilis di sejumlah wilayah Britania kepada Facebook. Laporan penelitian ini dikecam oleh Facebook karena “mengabaikan perbedaan antara korelasi dan kausalitas.”[147]

[sunting] Di media

Search Wikinews Wikinewsmemiliki berita news involving Facebook:

[sunting] Lihat pula

[sunting] Catatan

  1. ^ “Total pengguna aktif” ditetapkan oleh Facebook sebagai pengguna yang mengunjungi situs web ini dalam 30 hari terakhir.
  2. ^ “Pertumbuhan bulanan” adalah tingkat pertumbuhan persentase rata-rata ketika jumlah pengguna aktif bertambah setiap bulan pada periode tertentu.
  3. ^ This value is from an investment document. The date is from when the document was revealed to the public, not the actual date that the website reached this many users.

[sunting] Catatan kaki

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  150. ^ Gray, Melissa, “Ivy Bean, ‘world’s oldest Twitter user,’ dead at 104“, cnn.com, 28 Juli 2010. Diakses pada 31 Juli 2010.
  151. ^“The IT Crowd series 3 DVD review”. Den Of Geek.com. 22 Maret 2009. Diakses pada 7 Juni 2010. “Anyone who passes more than 15% of their working day on Facebook will love the ‘Friendface’ episode in series 3, which gently suggests that the likes of Friends Reunited and Facebook have a tendency to dig up situations – and people – that were buried with good reason”
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  156. ^“Mark Zuckerberg Calls The Social Network Inaccurate”, diakses pada 2 Oktober 2010

Twitter is an online social networking and microblogging service that enables its users to send and read text-based posts of up to 140 characters, known as “tweets”. It was created in March 2006 by Jack Dorsey and launched that July. The service rapidly gained worldwide popularity, with over 300 million users as of 2011,[6] generating over 300 million tweets and handling over 1.6 billion search queries per day.[3][8][9] It has been described as “the SMS of the Internet.”[10]

Twitter Inc. is based in San Francisco, with additional servers and offices in San Antonio[citation needed], Boston[citation needed], and New York City.

Contents

[hide]

History

A blueprint sketch, circa 2006, by Jack Dorsey, envisioning an SMS-based social network.

Creation

Twitter’s origins lie in a “daylong brainstorming session” held by board members of the podcasting company Odeo. Dorsey introduced the idea of an individual using an SMS service to communicate with a small group.[11] The original project code name for the service was twttr, an idea that Williams later ascribed to Noah Glass,[12] inspired by Flickr and the five-character length of American SMS short codes. The developers initially considered “10958” as a short code, but later changed it to “40404” for “ease of use and memorability.”[13] Work on the project started on March 21, 2006, when Dorsey published the first Twitter message at 9:50 PM Pacific Standard Time (PST): “just setting up my twttr”.[14]

“…we came across the word ‘twitter’, and it was just perfect. The definition was ‘a short burst of inconsequential information,’ and ‘chirps from birds’. And that’s exactly what the product was.” – Jack Dorsey[15]

The first Twitter prototype was used as an internal service for Odeo employees and the full version was introduced publicly on July 15, 2006.[7] In October 2006, Biz Stone, Evan Williams, Dorsey, and other members of Odeo formed Obvious Corporation and acquired Odeo and all of its assets–including Odeo.com and Twitter.com–from the investors and shareholders.[16] Williams fired Glass who was silent about his part in Twitter’s startup until 2011.[17] Twitter spun off into its own company in April 2007.[18]

Reaction

The tipping point for Twitter’s popularity was the 2007 South by Southwest (SXSW) festival. During the event, Twitter usage increased from 20,000 tweets per day to 60,000.[19] “The Twitter people cleverly placed two 60-inch plasma screens in the conference hallways, exclusively streaming Twitter messages,” remarked Newsweeks Steven Levy. “Hundreds of conference-goers kept tabs on each other via constant twitters. Panelists and speakers mentioned the service, and the bloggers in attendance touted it.”[20]

Reaction at the festival was highly positive. Blogger Scott Beale said that Twitter “absolutely rul[ed]” SXSW. Social software researcher Danah Boyd said Twitter “own[ed]” the festival.[21] Twitter staff received the festival’s Web Award prize with the remark “we’d like to thank you in 140 characters or less. And we just did!”[22]

The first unassisted off-Earth Twitter message was posted from the International Space Station by NASA astronaut T. J. Creamer on January 22, 2010.[23] By late November 2010, an average of a dozen updates per day were posted on the astronauts’ communal account, @NASA_Astronauts. NASA has also hosted over 25 “tweetups”, events that provide guests with VIP access to NASA facilities and speakers with the goal of leveraging participants’ social networks to further the outreach goals of NASA.

In August 2010, the company appointed Adam Bain as President of Revenue from News Corp.‘s Fox Audience Network.[24]

On September 14, 2010, Twitter launched a redesigned site including a new logo, however it can still be seen when Twitter has an over capacity error.[25]

Leadership

As chief executive officer, Dorsey saw the startup through two rounds of capital funding by the venture capitalists who backed the company.[26]

On October 16, 2008,[27] Williams took over the role of CEO, and Dorsey became chairman of the board.[28]

On October 4, 2010, Williams announced that he was stepping down as CEO. Dick Costolo, formerly Twitter’s chief operating officer, became CEO. According to a Twitter blog, dated October 4, 2010, Williams was to stay[dated info] with the company and “be completely focused on product strategy.”[dated info][29]

According to The New York Times, “Mr. Dorsey and Mr. Costolo forged a close relationship” when Williams was away.[30] According to PC Magazine, Williams was “no longer involved in the day-to-day goings on at the company”. He is focused on developing a new startup, but he became a member of Twitter’s board of directors, and promised to “help in any way I can”. Stone is still with Twitter but is working with AOL as an “advisor on volunteer efforts and philanthropy”.[31]

Dorsey rejoined Twitter in March 2011, as executive chairman focusing on product development. His time is split with Square where he is CEO, and whose offices are within walking distance of Twitter’s in San Francisco.[30]

In September 2011, Board Members and investors Fred Wilson and Binjan Sabet resigned from Twitter’s Board of Directors.[32]

Growth

The company experienced rapid growth. It had 400,000 tweets posted per quarter in 2007. This grew to 100 million tweets posted per quarter in 2008. In February 2010, Twitter users were sending 50 million tweets per day.[33] By March 2010, the company recorded over 70,000 registered applications.[34] As of June 2010, about 65 million tweets were posted each day, equaling about 750 tweets sent each second, according to Twitter.[35] As noted on Compete.com, Twitter moved up to the third-highest-ranking social networking site in January 2009 from its previous rank of twenty-second.[36]

Twitter’s usage spikes during prominent events. For example, a record was set during the 2010 FIFA World Cup when fans wrote 2,940 tweets per second in the thirty-second period after Japan scored against Cameroon on June 14, 2010. The record was broken again when 3,085 tweets per second were posted after the Los Angeles Lakers‘ victory in the 2010 NBA Finals on June 17, 2010,[37] and then again at the close of Japan’s victory over Denmark in the World Cup when users published 3,283 tweets per second.[38] The current record was set during the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup Final between Japan and the United States, when 7,196 tweets per second were published.[39] When American singer Michael Jackson died on June 25, 2009, Twitter servers crashed after users were updating their status to include the words “Michael Jackson” at a rate of 100,000 tweets per hour.[40]

Twitter acquired application developer Atebits on April 11, 2010. Atebits had developed the Apple Design Award-winning Twitter client Tweetie for the Mac and iPhone. The application, now called “Twitter” and distributed free of charge, is the official Twitter client for the iPhone, iPad and Mac.[41]

From September through October 2010, the company began rolling out “New Twitter”, an entirely revamped edition of twitter.com. Changes included the ability to see pictures and videos without leaving Twitter itself by clicking on individual tweets which contain links to images and clips from a variety of supported websites including YouTube, Flickr, as well as a complete overhaul of the interface, which shifted links such as ‘@mentions’ and ‘Retweets’ above the Twitter stream, while ‘Messages and ‘Log Out’ became accessible via a black bar at the very top of twitter.com. As of November 1, 2010, the company confirmed that the “New Twitter experience” had been rolled out to all users.

On April 5, 2011, Twitter tested a new homepage, as well as phased out the “Old Twitter.”[42] However, a glitch came about after the page was launched, so the previous “retro” homepage was still in use until the issues were resolved; the new homepage was reintroduced on April 20.[43][44]

On December 8, 2011, Twitter overhauled its website once more to feature the “Fly” design, which the service says is easier for new users to follow and promotes advertising. In addition to the Home button, the Connect and Discover buttons were introduced along with a redesigned profile and timeline of Tweets. The site’s layout has been compared to that of Facebook.[45][46]

Features

Tweets are publicly visible by default; however, senders can restrict message delivery to just their followers. Users can tweet via the Twitter website, compatible external applications (such as for smartphones), or by Short Message Service (SMS) available in certain countries.[47] While the service is free, accessing it through SMS may incur phone service provider fees.

Users may subscribe to other users’ tweets – this is known as following and subscribers are known as followers[48] or tweeps (Twitter + peeps).[49] The users can also check the people who are un-subscribing them on Twitter better known as unfollowing via various services.[50]

Twitter allows users the ability to update their profile by using their mobile phone either by text messaging or by apps released for certain smartphones / tablets.[51]

In a 2009 Time essay, technology author Steven Johnson described the basic mechanics of Twitter as “remarkably simple”:[52]

As a social network, Twitter revolves around the principle of followers. When you choose to follow another Twitter user, that user’s tweets appear in reverse chronological order on your main Twitter page. If you follow 20 people, you’ll see a mix of tweets scrolling down the page: breakfast-cereal updates, interesting new links, music recommendations, even musings on the future of education.

In June 2008, Twitter launched a verification program, allowing celebrities to get their accounts verified.[53] Originally intended to help users verify which celebrity accounts were created by the celebrities themselves (and therefore are not fake), they have since been used to verify accounts of businesses and accounts for public figures who may not actually tweet but still wish to maintain control over the account that bears their name – for example, the Dalai Lama. Verified accounts can be identified by a white check in a blue background, known as a verification badge, next to the user’s full name, on the profile itself or next to the name in search results.

Messages

Users can group posts together by topic or type by use of hashtags – words or phrases prefixed with a "#" sign. Similarly, the "@" sign followed by a username is used for mentioning or replying to other users.[54] To repost a message from another Twitter user, and share it with one’s own followers, the retweet function is symbolized by “RT” in the message.

In late 2009, the “Twitter Lists” feature was added, making it possible for users to follow (as well as mention and reply to) ad-hoc lists of authors instead of individual authors.[48][55]

Through SMS, users can communicate with Twitter through five gateway numbers: short codes for the United States, Canada, India, New Zealand, and an Isle of Man-based number for international use. There is also a short code in the United Kingdom which is only accessible to those on the Vodafone, O2[56] and Orange[57] networks. In India, since Twitter only supports tweets from Bharti Airtel,[58] an alternative platform called smsTweet[59] was set up by a user to work on all networks.[60] A similar platform called GladlyCast[61] exists for mobile phone users in Singapore, Malaysia and the Philippines.

The messages were initially set to 140-character limit for compatibility with SMS messaging, introducing the shorthand notation and slang commonly used in SMS messages. The 140-character limit has also increased the usage of URL shortening services such as bit.ly, goo.gl, and tr.im, and content-hosting services, such as Twitpic, memozu.com and NotePub to accommodate multimedia content and text longer than 140 characters. Twitter uses its own t.co domain for automatic shortening of all URLs posted on its website.[62]

Tweet contents

Content of Tweets according to Pear Analytics.[63]

  News
  Spam
  Self-promotion
  Pointless babble
  Conversational
  Pass-along value

San Antonio-based market-research firm Pear Analytics analyzed 2,000 tweets (originating from the US and in English) over a two-week period in August 2009 from 11:00 AM to 5:00 PM (CST) and separated them into six categories:[63]

  • Pointless babble – 40%
  • Conversational – 38%
  • Pass-along value – 9%
  • Self-promotion – 6%
  • Spam – 4%
  • News – 4%[63]

Social networking researcher Danah Boyd responded to the Pear Analytics survey by arguing that what the Pear researchers labelled “pointless babble” is better characterized as “social grooming” and/or “peripheral awareness” (which she explains as persons “want[ing] to know what the people around them are thinking and doing and feeling, even when co-presence isn’t viable”).[64]

Rankings

Twitter is ranked as one of the ten-most-visited websites worldwide by Alexa’s web traffic analysis.[65] Daily user estimates vary as the company does not publish statistics on active accounts. A February 2009 Compete.com blog entry ranked Twitter as the third most used social network based on their count of 6 million unique monthly visitors and 55 million monthly visits.[66] In March 2009, a Nielsen.com blog ranked Twitter as the fastest-growing website in the Member Communities category for February 2009. Twitter had annual growth of 1,382 percent, increasing from 475,000 unique visitors in February 2008 to 7 million in February 2009. It was followed by Zimbio with a 240 percent increase, and Facebook with a 228 percent increase.[67] Twitter has a user retention rate of forty percent.[68]

Adding and following content

There are numerous tools for adding content, monitoring content and conversations including Twitvid (video sharing),[69] Tweetdeck, Salesforce.com, HootSuite, and Twitterfeed. Less than half of tweets are posted using the web user interface with most users using third-party applications (based on analysis of 500 million tweets by Sysomos).[70]

Trends

A word, phrase or topic that is tagged at a greater rate than other tags is said to be a trending topic. Trending topics become popular either through a concerted effort by users or because of an event that prompts people to talk about one specific topic.[71] These topics help Twitter and their users to understand what is happening in the world.[72]

Twitter’s 30 March 2010 blog post announced that the hottest Twitter trending topics will scroll across the Twitter homepage.[73] Users will also be able to find out why a specific topic got to be a trending topic.

There have been controversy surrounding the Twitter trending topics: Twitter censored hashtags that their users found offensive. Twitter censored the #Thatsafrican[74] and the #thingsdarkiessay[75][dead link] hashtags after users complained that they found the hashtags offensive.

Authentication

As of August 31, 2010, third-party Twitter applications are required to use OAuth, an authentication method that does not require users to enter their password into the authenticating application. Previously, the OAuth authentication method was optional, it is now compulsory and the user-name/password authentication method has been made redundant and is no longer functional. Twitter stated that the move to OAuth will mean “increased security and a better experience.”[76]

Demographics

Twitter.com Top5 Global Markets by Reach (%)[77][78]
COUNTRY Percent
Indonesia Jun-2010 20.8%
Indonesia Dec-2010 19.0%
Brazil Jun-2010 20.5%
Brazil Dec-2010 21.8%
Venezuela Jun-2010 19.0%
Venezuela Dec-2010 21.1%
Netherlands Jun-2010 17.7%
Netherlands Dec-2010 22.3%
Japan Jun-2010 16.8%
Japan Dec-2010 20.0%

Note: Visitor Age 15+ Home and Work Locations. Excludes visitation from public computers such as Internet cafes or access from mobile phones or PDAs.

Twitter is mainly used by older adults who might not have used other social sites before Twitter, said Jeremiah Owyang, an industry analyst studying social media. “Adults are just catching up to what teens have been doing for years,” he said.[79] According to comScore only eleven percent of Twitter’s users are aged twelve to seventeen.[79] comScore attributes this to Twitter’s “early adopter period” when the social network first gained popularity in business settings and news outlets attracting primarily older users. However, comScore as of late, has stated that Twitter has begun to “filter more into the mainstream”, and “along with it came a culture of celebrity as Shaq, Britney Spears and Ashton Kutcher joined the ranks of the Twitterati.”[80]

According to a study by Sysomos in June 2009, women make up a slightly larger Twitter demographic than men — fifty-three percent over forty-seven percent. It also stated that five percent of users accounted for seventy-five percent of all activity, and that New York has the most Twitter users.[81]

According to Quancast, twenty-seven million people in the US used Twitter as of September 3, 2009. Sixty-three percent of Twitter users are less than thirty-five years old; sixty percent of Twitter users are Caucasian, but a higher than average (compared to other Internet properties) are African American (sixteen percent) and Hispanic (eleven percent); fifty-eight percent of Twitter users have a total household income of at least $60,000.[82]

On September 7, 2011, Twitter announced that it has 100 million active users logging in at least once a month and 50 million active users every day.[83]

Finances

Funding

Twitter’s San Francisco headquarters located at 795 Folsom St.

Twitter raised over US$57 million from venture capitalist growth funding, although exact numbers are not publicly disclosed. Twitter’s first A round of funding was for an undisclosed amount that is rumored to have been between $1 million and $5 million.[84] Its second B round of funding in 2008 was for $22 million[85] and its third C round of funding in 2009 was for $35 million from Institutional Venture Partners and Benchmark Capital along with an undisclosed amount from other investors including Union Square Ventures, Spark Capital and Insight Venture Partners.[84] Twitter is backed by Union Square Ventures, Digital Garage, Spark Capital, and Bezos Expeditions.[86]

In May 2008, The Industry Standard remarked that Twitter’s long-term viability is limited by a lack of revenue.[87] Twitter board member Todd Chaffee forecast that the company could profit from e-commerce, noting that users may want to buy items directly from Twitter since it already provides product recommendations and promotions.[88]

The company raised $200 million in new venture capital in December 2010, at a valuation of approximately $3.7 billion.[89] In March 2011, 35,000 Twitter shares sold for $34.50 each on Sharespost, an implied valuation of $7.8 billion.[90] In August, 2010 Twitter announced a “significant” investment lead by Digital Sky Technology that, at $800 million, was reported to be the largest venture round in history.[91]

Twitter has been identified as a possible candidate for an initial public offering by 2013.[92]

Revenue sources

In July 2009, some of Twitter’s revenue and user growth documents were published on TechCrunch after being illegally obtained by Hacker Croll. The documents projected 2009 revenues of $400,000 in the third quarter and $4 million in the fourth quarter along with 25 million users by the end of the year. The projections for the end of 2013 were $1.54 billion in revenue, $111 million in net earnings, and 1 billion users.[2] No information about how Twitter planned to achieve those numbers was published. In response, Twitter co-founder Biz Stone published a blog post suggesting the possibility of legal action against the hacker.[93]

On April 13, 2010, Twitter announced plans to offer paid advertising for companies that would be able to purchase “promoted tweets” to appear in selective search results on the Twitter website, similar to Google Adwords’ advertising model. As of April 13, Twitter announced it had already signed up a number of companies wishing to advertise including Sony Pictures, Red Bull, Best Buy, and Starbucks.[94][95]

The company generated $45 million in annual revenue in 2010, after beginning sales midway through that year. The company operated at a loss through most of 2010. Revenues were forecast for $100 million to $110 million in 2011.[89] Users’ photos can generate royalty-free revenue for Twitter, with an agreement with WENN being announced in May 2011.[96] In June 2011, Twitter announced it would offer small businesses a self serve advertising system.[97]

Technology

Implementation

The Twitter Web interface uses the Ruby on Rails framework,[98] deployed on a performance enhanced Ruby Enterprise Edition implementation of Ruby.[99]

As of April 6th, 2011, Twitter engineers confirmed they had switched away from their Ruby on Rails search-stack, to a Java server they call Blender. [100]

From the spring of 2007 until 2008 the messages were handled by a Ruby persistent queue server called Starling,[101] but since 2009 implementation has been gradually replaced with software written in Scala.[102] The service’s application programming interface (API) allows other web services and applications to integrate with Twitter.[103][104]

Interface

On April 30, 2009, Twitter adjusted its web interface, adding a search bar and a sidebar of “trending topics” — the most common phrases appearing in messages. Biz Stone explains that all messages are instantly indexed and that “with this newly launched feature, Twitter has become something unexpectedly important — a discovery engine for finding out what is happening right now.”[105]

Outages

The Twitter fail whale error message.

When Twitter experiences an outage, users see the “fail whale” error message image created by Yiying Lu,[106] illustrating eight orange birds using a net to hoist a whale from the ocean captioned “Too many tweets! Please wait a moment and try again.”[107]

Twitter had approximately ninety-eight percent uptime in 2007 (or about six full days of downtime).[108] The downtime was particularly noticeable during events popular with the technology industry such as the 2008 Macworld Conference & Expo keynote address.[109][110]

  • May 2008 – Twitter’s new engineering team made architectural changes to deal with the scale of growth. Stability issues resulted in down time or temporary feature removal.
  • August 2008 – Twitter withdrew free SMS services from users in the United Kingdom[111] and for approximately five months instant messaging support via a XMPP bot was listed as being “temporarily unavailable”.[112]
  • October 10, 2008 – Twitter’s status blog announced that instant messaging (IM) service was no longer a temporary outage and needed to be revamped. It was announced that Twitter aims to return its IM service pending necessary major work.[113]
  • June 12, 2009 – In what was called a potential “Twitpocalypse”, the unique numerical identifier associated with each tweet exceeded the limit of 32-bit signed integers (2,147,483,647 total messages).[114] While Twitter itself was not affected, some third-party clients could no longer access recent tweets. Patches were quickly released, though some iPhone applications had to wait for approval from the App Store.[115]
  • June 25, 2009 – Twitter crashed at least once and ran very slowly for some time after It recorded over 50,000 tweets about Michael Jackson’s death in just one hour.[116] Michael Jackson was ranked on seven of the top ten trending topics.
  • September 22, 2009 – The identifier exceeded the limit for 32-bit unsigned integers (4,294,967,296 total messages) again breaking some third-party clients.[117]
  • August 6, 2009 – Twitter and Facebook suffered from a denial-of-service attack, causing the Twitter website to go offline for several hours.[118] It was later confirmed that the attacks were directed at one pro-Georgian user around the anniversary of the 2008 South Ossetia War, rather than the sites themselves.[119]
  • December 17, 2009 – A hacking attack replaced the website’s welcoming screen with an image of a green flag and the caption “This site has been hacked by Iranian Cyber Army” for nearly an hour. No connection between the hackers and Iran has been established.[120]
  • June-July 2010 – Twitter has a very high service rejection rate (10%-20%) during 2010 FIFA World Cup period, also, the response latency increased a lot.[121]
  • November 2010 – A number of accounts encountered a fault that resulted in them seeing the “fail whale” when they tried to login to their accounts. The accounts themselves were not locked out as account holders could still see their “mentions” page and post from there. But the timeline and a number of other features were unavailable during this outage.

Privacy and security

Twitter messages are public but users can also send private messages.[122] Twitter collects personally identifiable information about its users and shares it with third parties. The service reserves the right to sell this information as an asset if the company changes hands.[123] While Twitter displays no advertising, advertisers can target users based on their history of tweets and may quote tweets in ads[124] directed specifically to the user.

A security vulnerability was reported on April 7, 2007, by Nitesh Dhanjani and Rujith. Since Twitter used the phone number of the sender of an SMS message as authentication, malicious users could update someone else’s status page by using SMS spoofing.[125] The vulnerability could be used if the spoofer knew the phone number registered to their victim’s account. Within a few weeks of this discovery Twitter introduced an optional personal identification number (PIN) that its users could use to authenticate their SMS-originating messages.[126]

On January 5, 2009, 33 high-profile Twitter accounts were compromised after a Twitter administrator’s password was guessed by a dictionary attack.[127] Falsified tweets — including sexually explicit and drug-related messages — were sent from these accounts.[128]

Twitter launched the beta version of their “Verified Accounts” service on June 11, 2009, allowing famous or notable people to announce their Twitter account name. The home pages of these accounts display a badge indicating their status.[129]

In May 2010, a bug was discovered by İnci Sözlük users that allowed Twitter users to force others to follow them without the other users’ consent or knowledge. For example, comedian Conan O’Brien‘s account, which had been set to follow only one person, was changed to receive nearly 200 malicious subscriptions.[130]

In response to Twitter’s security breaches, the Federal Trade Commission brought charges against the service which were settled on June 24, 2010. This was the first time the FTC had taken action against a social network for security lapses. The settlement requires Twitter to take a number of steps to secure users’ private information, including maintenance of a “comprehensive information security program” to be independently audited biannually.[131]

On December 14, 2010, the United States Department of Justice issued a subpoena directing Twitter to provide information for accounts registered to or associated with WikiLeaks.[132] Twitter decided to notify its users and said in a statement, “…it’s our policy to notify users about law enforcement and governmental requests for their information, unless we are prevented by law from doing so”.[122]

A “MouseOver” exploit occurred on September 21, 2010, when an XSS Worm became active on Twitter. When an account user held the mouse cursor over blacked out parts of a tweet, the worm within the script would automatically open links and re-post itself on the reader’s account.[133] The exploit was then re-used to post pop-up ads and links to pornographic sites. The origin is unclear but Pearce H. Delphin (known on Twitter as @zzap) and a Scandinavian developer, Magnus Holm, both claim to have modified the exploit of a user, possibly Masato Kinugawa, who was using it to create coloured Tweets.[134] Kinugawa, a Japanese developer, reported the XSS vulnerability to Twitter on August 14. Later, when he found it was exploitable again, he created the account ‘RainbowTwtr’ and used it to post coloured messages.[134] Delphin says he exposed the security flaw by tweeting a JavaScript function for “onMouseOver”,[134] and Holm later created and posted the XSS Worm that automatically re-tweeted itself.[133] Security firm Sophos reported the virus was spread by people doing it for “fun and games”, but noted it could be exploited by cybercriminals.[133] Twitter issued a statement on their status blog at 13:50 UTC that “The exploit is fully patched“.[133][135] Twitter representative Carolyn Penner said no charges would be pressed.[136]

In May 2011, a claimant known as “CTB” (subsequently identified as Ryan Giggs) in the case of CTB v Twitter Inc., Persons Unknown took legal action at the High Court of Justice in London against Twitter.,[137] requesting that Twitter release details of account holders. This followed gossip posted on Twitter about Giggs’ private life, causing conflict relating to privacy injunctions.[138][139] Tony Wang, the head of Twitter in Europe, said that people who do “bad things” on the site would need to defend themselves under the laws of their own jurisdiction in the event of controversy, and that the site would hand over information about users to the authorities when it was legally required to do so.[140]

On May 29, 2011, it was reported that South Tyneside council in England had successfully taken legal action against Twitter in a court in California, which forced Twitter to reveal the details of five user accounts. The council was trying to discover the identity of a blogger called “Mr Monkey”[141] who allegedly posted libellous statements about three local councillors.[142]

Open source

Twitter released several open source projects developed while overcoming technical challenges of their service.[143] Notable projects are the Gizzard Scala framework for creating distributed datastores and the distributed graph database FlockDB.

URL shortener

t.co is a URL shortening service created by Twitter.[62] It is only available for links posted to Twitter and not available for general use.[62] Eventually all links posted to Twitter will use a t.co wrapper.[144] Twitter hopes that the service will be able to protect users from malicious sites,[62] and will use it to track clicks on links within tweets.[62][145]

Having previously used the services of third parties TinyURL and bit.ly,[146] Twitter began experimenting with its own URL shortening service for direct messages in March 2010 using the twt.tl domain,[144] before it purchased the t.co domain. The service was tested on the main site using the accounts @TwitterAPI, @rsarver and @raffi.[144] On September 2, 2010, an email from Twitter to users said they would be expanding the roll-out of the service to users. On June 7, 2011, Twitter announced that it was rolling out the feature.[147]

Integrated photo-sharing service

On June 1, 2011, Twitter announced its own integrated photo-sharing service that enables users to upload a photo and attach it to a Tweet right from Twitter.com.[148] Users now also have the ability to add pictures to Twitter’s search by adding hashtags to the tweet.[149] Twitter also plans to provide photo galleries designed to gather and syndicate all photos that a user has uploaded on Twitter and third-party services such as TwitPic.[149]

Decentralized architecture

The traditional centralized client-server architecture has not scaled with user demand, leading to server overload and significant loss of availability. There is some decentralized architecture to enhance the scalability of Twitter including Fethr[150] and Cuckoo.[121]

Use and social impact

Dorsey (left) said after a Twitter Town Hall held in July 2011, that Twitter received over 110,000 #AskObama tweets.[151]

Main article: Twitter usage

Twitter has been used for a variety of purposes in many different industries and scenarios. For example, it has been used to organize protests, sometimes referred to as “Twitter Revolutions” and which include the 2011 Egyptian revolution, 2010–2011 Tunisian protests, 2009–2010 Iranian election protests, and 2009 Moldova civil unrest.[152] The governments of Iran and Egypt blocked the service in retaliation.[153][154] The service is also used as a form of civil disobedience: in 2010, users expressed outrage over the Twitter Joke Trial by making obvious jokes about terrorism;[155] and in the British privacy injunction debate in the same country a year later, where several celebrities that had taken out anonymised injunctions, most notably the Manchester United player Ryan Giggs, were identified by thousands of users in protest to traditional journalism being censored.[156]

Twitter is also increasingly used for making TV more interactive and social.[157] This effect is sometimes referred to as the “virtual watercooler” or social television. Twitter has been used successfully to encourage people to watch live TV events, such as the Oscars, the Super Bowl[158] and the MTV Video Music Awards; this strategy has however proven less effective with regularly scheduled TV shows.[159] Such direct cross-promotions have been banned from French television due to regulations against secret advertising.[160]

In May 2008, The Wall Street Journal wrote that social networking services such as Twitter “elicit mixed feelings in the technology-savvy people who have been their early adopters. Fans say they are a good way to keep in touch with busy friends. But some users are starting to feel ‘too’ connected, as they grapple with check-in messages at odd hours, higher cellphone bills and the need to tell acquaintances to stop announcing what they’re having for dinner.”[161]

Tech writer Bruce Sterling opined in 2007 that using Twitter for “literate communication” is “about as likely as firing up a CB radio and hearing some guy recite the Iliad“.[162] In September 2008, the journalist Clive Thompson mused in a The New York Times Magazine editorial that the service had expanded narcissism into “a new, supermetabolic extreme—the ultimate expression of a generation of celebrity-addled youths who believe their every utterance is fascinating and ought to be shared with the world.”[163] Conversely, Vancouver Sun columnist Steve Dotto opined that part of Twitter’s appeal is the challenge of trying to publish such messages in tight constraints,[164] and Jonathan Zittrain, professor of Internet law at Harvard Law School, said that “the qualities that make Twitter seem inane and half-baked are what makes it so powerful”.[165]

In 2009, Nielsen Online reported that Twitter has a user retention rate of forty percent. Many people stop using the service after a month, therefore the site may potentially reach only about ten percent of all Internet users.[166] In 2009, Twitter won the “Breakout of the Year” Webby Award.[167][168] During a February 2009 discussion on National Public Radio‘s Weekend Edition, the journalist Daniel Schorr stated that Twitter accounts of events lacked rigorous fact-checking and other editorial improvements. In response, Andy Carvin gave Schorr two examples of breaking news stories that played out on Twitter and said users wanted first-hand accounts and sometimes debunked stories.[169] Time magazine acknowledged growing level of influence in its 2010 Time 100; to determine the influence of people, it used a formula based on famous social networking sites, Twitter and Facebook. The list ranges from Barack Obama and Oprah Winfrey to Lady Gaga and Ashton Kutcher.[170]

After claims in the media that the hashtags #wikileaks and #occupywallstreet were being censored because they did not show up on the site’s list of trending topics, Twitter responded by stating that it does not censor hashtags unless they contain obscenities.[171][172][173]

Reception

In 2006, when Twitter launched under the name “Twttr”, Michael Arrington of TechCrunch commented that although he liked the service, he also noted that he felt uncomfortable with the fact that every user’s Twitter page is available to the public.[174]

Change of focus

The mobile version of twitter.com

Twitter emphasized its news and information-network strategy in November 2009 by changing the question asked to users for status updates from “What are you doing?” to “What’s happening?”[175][176] Entertainment Weekly put it on its end-of-the-decade, “best-of” list, saying, “Limiting yourself to 140 characters—the maximum for messages on this diabolically addictive social-networking tool—is easy.”[177]

On November 22, 2010, Biz Stone, a cofounder of the company, expressed for the first time the idea of a Twitter news network,[178] a concept of wire-like news service he has been working on for years.[179]

See also

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