A Tribute to Twitter After 20 Billion Tweets

By: Mallorie Rosenbluth This past weekend, Twitter hit 20 billion tweets (according to the tracking service GigaTweet, whose numbers, though unofficial, are pretty accurate). To celebrate this momentous occasion, we’ve compiled a list of our Top 5 Favorite Features Twitter has rolled out over the years.

Lists – This particular user squealed in OCD delight when the Lists feature rolled out to users late in 2009. Finally, you were able to sort and organize everyone you were following into categories. Even better, lists could be private or public and include people you weren’t even following. Topping the cake was the ability to follow other users’ lists. See someone who put loads of effort into creating a list you really dig? Simply follow that list and you’ll reap the benefits of their hard work.

Local Trending Topics – Trending Topics have always been a great feature of Twitter (if only we could get the spammers out of the conversation… ) but when they localized the feature, it got even better – and more relevant – to users. Now you can track what conversations are most popular where you live, giving users a more personalized Twitter experience.

Who to Follow – The newest feature to be highlighted on this list, is also a personal favorite. Twitter now provides suggestions of who to follow based on who you’re already following. From celebrities and companies to friends you might not have known were using Twitter, this new feature is helping make Twitter more intuitive and useful to its users by providing recommendations to grow their Twitter community.

Top Tweets and re-designed homepage – When Twitter redesigned the appearance of twitter.com, users took notice. The re-designed homepage now live-streams trending topics as well as individual tweets from users that have gotten a lot of play in the twitterverse. This provides a great way to discover new users and follow topics before even logging into your account.

The “New” ReTweet – When this feature rolled out, users could finally say “sayonara” to having to CTRL-C, CTRL-V retweetable posts (that’s copy, paste to all you non-keyboard-shortcut users out there). With this feature, users are now one click away from retweeting their favorite content and sharing it with their followers. The new retweet almost wasn’t included in this Top 5 because there’s a key element missing, the ability to add your own commentary to the tweet. However, it’s still a vast improvement as it allows a quick and easy way to share tweets. Here’s hoping Twitter will continue to improve upon this feature.

Twitter has come a long way in its 20 billion tweets. There are still features I’d love to see in the future like an improved retweet and a tweet-to-tweet feature similar to Facebook’s wall-to-wall option to better track conversations – to name a few.

Did your favorite feature make the list? What would you like to see Twitter release in the future?