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How Twitter got its name

Posted by / July 19, 2011


A tweet by any other name just wouldn’t be the same, and the founders of Twitter are happy now they didn’t go with the original ideas for naming the social media service. While it’s funny to think of a country madly twitching over a women’s World Cup game, things wouldn’t be the same without the little blue bird.

Twitter cofounder Jack Dorsey sat down with WNYC to answer a few questions about how Twitter got its name and what ideas were tossed out of the nest.

Was Twitter really going to be called Twitch?

Yup. “We wanted a name that evoked what we did,” says Dorsey in the WNYC interview. In the original conception of the service, a user’s cell phone would buzz when fellow users sent him an update (not yet known as a Tweet). In other words, it would “jitter” or “twitch.” So, Dorsey and his co-founders considered naming the company either Jitter or Twitch.

Were there any reservations about the name Twitter?

Yes. There were plenty of detractors, says Dorsey. But although the word “twit” is a demeaning insult in some cultures, the team went with “Twitter” anyway — a decision Dorsey says, in hindsight, was amazing. “Once we saw the word Twitter, the definition, the concept, and we put it on the site and saw how it looked, we said immediately ‘That’s it.'” The name clarified the mission of the company: Keeping things “simple, social, short, and tangible.” All jitters about the name were gone.

Full story at WNYC via The Week.

The story of Twitter.

Photo credit: Fotolia

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  • salman

    that was interesting. Thankfully they left jitter behind. I am sure jitter would not have made that many splashes as twitter does. It is different and unique