In 2006, a little-known startup called Twitter burst onto the tech scene. Today, the company is one of the most recognizable brands in the world. As of 2023, the site has over 450 million monthly active users. But who owns Twitter? And how did it become the behemoth it is today? Let’s take a look at a brief history of this social media powerhouse.
Who Owns Twitter Now?
Twitter is owned by Elon Musk, the CEO and founder of Tesla. Musk acquired Twitter in October 2022 for $43.2 billion. The timeline of the Twitter deal followed a 6-months-long saga in which Musk expressed interest in acquiring Twitter, canceled the deal, got sued, and then eventually went forward with the purchase.
Who Owned Twitter Before Elon Musk?
Twitter was a publicly-traded company, meaning that it was owned by a variety of shareholders. As of April 2022, institutional investors made up the majority of Twitter’s shareholders, with Vanguard Group topping the list as the biggest shareholder according to Yahoo Finance.
Other notable shareholders included Saudi Arabia’s Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, and Jack Dorsey, one of the company’s co-founders.
How Did Twitter Get Started?
Twitter was founded in March 2006 by Jack Dorsey, Noah Glass, Biz Stone, and Evan Williams. The initial idea for the company came from Dorsey, who conceived of a service that would allow for short, text-based updates from anywhere in the world.
Dorsey sent the first tweet (which he later sold as an NFT) on March 21, 2006, and said simply “just setting up my twttr”. Within a few months, Twitter had amassed a small but dedicated following of early adopters. In 2008, Dorsey was fired from his position as CEO, but he would return to the company in 2015.
Twitter went public in November 2013, debuting on the New York Stock Exchange with the ticker symbol “TWTR”. In the years since going public, Twitter has continued to grow. The company has acquired several other startups, including Periscope (a live-streaming app) and Vine (a short-form video platform). Twitter has also been a leader in developing new features, such as hashtags and live-streaming videos.
Many things stand out in Twitter’s history, but perhaps the most notable is the leadership changes that have taken place over the years. Jack Dorsey, who co-founded the company, has served two stints as CEO, with Dick Costolo and Evan Williams taking over in between. In November 2021, Dorsey stepped down as Twitter CEO for a second time, handing over the reins to Twitter’s current CEO, Parag Agrawal.
Parag led the company until Musk’s acquisition in October 2022. Musk took the company private, dissolved the board, and fired most of the executive team. He currently serves as the Chairman and CEO of Twitter, overseeing all operations.
Twitter’s leadership shakeups are reflective of the challenges that the company has faced in recent years. From its struggles to grow its user base to its difficulties in monetizing, Twitter has had its fair share of controversies. The company has also been embroiled in several controversies, including an allegation of “willful ignorance and major security flaws” by its former security chief.
What Does the Future Hold for Twitter?
Twitter has been through a lot in its history, but it remains one of the most popular social media platforms in the world. The platform has been used to facilitate political revolutions, spread news stories, and connect people from all over the globe.
Whatever the future holds for Twitter, one thing is certain: it’s a company with an incredible story, and one that will undoubtedly remain a major part of our lives for years to come.