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Appearance and features of Twitter


Twitter has become internationally identifiable by its signature bird logo, or the Twitter Bird. The original logo, which was simply the word "Twitter", was in use from its launch in March 2006 until September 2010. It was accompanied by an image of a bird which was a piece of clip art created by the British graphic designer Simon Oxley. A slightly modified version with "Larry the Bird" next to the old logo succeeded the first style when the website underwent its first redesign. A tweet from an employee that works on the company's platform and API discussed the evolution of the "Larry the Bird" logo with Twitter's creative director and it was revealed that it was named after Larry Bird of the NBA's Boston Celtics fame. This detail had been confirmed when the Boston Celtics' director of interactive media asked Twitter co-founder Biz Stone about it in August 2011.

The first tweet was posted by Jack Dorsey (creator) at 12:50 PM PST on March 21, 2006 and read "just setting up my twttr". In 2009, the first tweet was sent from space. US astronauts Nicola Stott and Jeff Williams took part in a live 'tweetup' from the International Space Station with around 35 members of the public at NASA Headquarters, Washington, DC, USA.

Despite Jack Dorsey's own open contention that a message on Twitter is "a short burst of inconsequential information", 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 justifies as persons "want to know what the people around them are thinking and doing and feeling, even when co-presence isn't viable"). Similarly, a survey of Twitter users found that a more specific social role of passing along messages that include a hyperlink is an expectation of reciprocal linking by followers.

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 and Orange networks. In India, since Twitter only supports tweets from Bharti Airtel, an alternative platform called smsTweet was set up by a user to work on all networks. A similar platform called GladlyCast exists for mobile phone users in Singapore and Malaysia.

A word, phrase, or topic that is mentioned at a greater rate than others 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 a specific topic. These topics help Twitter and their users to understand what is happening in the world and what people's opinions are about it.

There are numerous tools for adding content, monitoring content and conversations including Twitter's own TweetDeck, Salesforce.com, HootSuite, and Twitterfeed.com. As of 2009, fewer than half of tweets posted were posted using the web user interface with most users using third-party applications (based on an analysis of 500 million tweets by Sysomos).

Twitter has mobile apps for iPhone, iPad, Android, Windows 10, Windows Phone, BlackBerry, and Nokia S40. Users can also tweet by sending SMS. In April 2017, Twitter introduced Twitter Lite, a progressive web app designed for regions with unreliable and slow Internet connections, with a size of less than one megabyte, designed for devices with limited storage capacity.

During an event in New York in May 2017, Twitter announced that it planned to construct a 24-hour streaming video channel hosted within the service, featuring content from various partners. CEO Jack Dorsey stated that the digital video strategy was part of a goal for Twitter to be "the first place that anyone hears of anything going on that matters to them"; as of the first quarter of 2017, Twitter had over 200 content partners, who streamed over 800 hours of video over 450 events.

Twitter announced a number of new and expanded partnerships for its streaming video services at the event, including Bloomberg, BuzzFeed, Cheddar (Opening Bell and Closing Bell shows; the latter was introduced in October 2016) IMG Fashion (coverage of fashion events), Live Nation Entertainment (streaming concert events), Major League Baseball (weekly online game stream, plus a weekly program with live look-ins and coverage of trending stories), MTV and BET (red carpet coverage for their MTV Video Music Awards, MTV Movie & TV Awards, and BET Awards), NFL Network (the Monday-Thursday news program NFL Blitz Live, and Sunday Fantasy Gameday), the PGA Tour (PGA Tour Live coverage of early tournament rounds preceding television coverage), The Players' Tribune, Ben Silverman and Howard T. Owens' Propagate (daily entertainment show #WhatsHappening), The Verge (weekly technology show Circuit Breaker: The Verge’s Gadget Show), Stadium (a new digital sports network being formed by Silver Chalice and Sinclair Broadcast Group) and the WNBA (weekly game).