Twitter is a social networking and microblogging website, based in San Francisco, California, also having servers and offices in San Antonio, Texas and Boston, Massachusetts. Twitter, Inc. was originally incorporated in California, but has been incorporated in the jurisdiction of Delaware since 2007. Since being created in March 2006 by Jack Dorsey and launching that July, the website has gained popularity worldwide and is estimated to have more than 200 million active users, generating 65 million tweets a day and handling over 800,000 search queries per day. It is sometimes described as the “SMS of the Internet”.
Twitter enables users to send and read text-based posts composed of up to 140 characters, called tweets, which are displayed on the user’s profile page. Users can subscribe to other users’ tweets – this is known as following and subscribers are known as followers or tweeps (‘Twitter’ + ‘peeps’). By default, tweets are publicly visible, though 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. While the service is free, accessing it through SMS may incur phone service provider fees.