Billions of Items Are Shared Through Twitter and Facebook Daily
By James Lenhart


This morning we posted up that Google’s new social network Google+ has over 10 million users who are sharing over 1 billion items each day. When you take into consideration that G+ is around two weeks old that number is kind of staggering.

This morning Twitter decided to share some facts (through tweets of course) as they celebrate their 5th year being a public service. On July 15th, 2006 only 224 Tweets were published on their opening day. Today those same amount of tweets are processed in less than 1/10th of a second. It took them 16 months to reach 600,000 users, which is how many accounts were created yesterday.

If I understand correctly, “shares’ are calculated based on how many times it’s distributed to the followers of the person who is sharing the content. For example, let’s say I have 100 followers. If I tweet something it’s actually “shared” 100 times — even though it would seem like one.

Because G+ and Twitter allow these “one-sided” streams it’s easy to see how these numbers could add up rather quickly. The Tweet below shows that it’s not the easiest of tasks to keep up a service that shares over 350 billion items a day.

Google has taken on a similar challenge that is fitting for them, and I don’t doubt their ability to produce. I can only hope that they expect to continue to grow at this rapid pace, and are prepared to deal with all of the obstacles that may come with a service that has huge potential.

Delivering 350 billion Tweets a day is a terribly fun engineering challenge. But, it doesn't capture how passionate our users are.
Twitter Engineering

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