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  • In 2006, Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey launched the social network’s first tweet. In the

  • decade since, Twitter has given way to social movements like the Arab Spring and Occupy

  • Wall Street. The site has been embraced by 2016 presidential candidates, as well as world

  • leaders, celebrities and even the Pope. With this in mind, we wanted to know, just how

  • powerful is Twitter?

  • Well, when Twitter hit the web, the founders set a mandate for brevity. Tweets can not

  • exceed 140 characters, and users can group ideas with hashtags. This gave the social

  • network a unique identity, separate from competitors. Twitter quickly became a gateway between companies

  • and consumers. At its peak in 2013, the company was worth more than $30 billion dollars. However

  • due to slowing user growth and revenue loss, its worth has plummeted to about $10 billion.

  • Still, the platform boasts more than 300 million active users, which is roughly equal to the

  • population of the United States. And even after massive layoffs in 2015, the company

  • still employs nearly four thousand people all around the world.

  • But despite their dwindling power as a business, Twitter is still a driving force in politics

  • and the media. In the political world, the platform took off in 2008, as a campaign tool

  • for Barack Obama. Seeing the success of his presidential run, conservatives took to social

  • media as well. In 2009, the newly formed Tea Party Movement broadened their influence by

  • reaching out to followers through their Twitter page, rather than through mailers or leaflets

  • Today, Twitter is not just a niche tool for politicians, it's an essential part of their

  • reality. In the 2016 presidential race, Front runner Donald Trump is by far more active

  • on Twitter than any of his opponents. His so-called mastery of the platform has been

  • linked to his campaign’s success. Trump could be taking notes from Obama’s strategy

  • during 2012 election, as he out-tweeted his rival, Mitt Romney, eight times over. When

  • Obama coined the termRomnesiato illustrate his opponent’s inconsistent political stances,

  • the hashtag took off on Twitter. The critique of Romney was lauded as one of the key causes

  • of his loss.

  • But perhaps Twitter’s greatest power is its ability to organize and unite people for

  • a common cause. This was demonstrated in 2011, when Egyptians took to the streets to rally

  • against their long-running president, (HOHS-nee moo-BAH-rahk) Hosni Mubarak . During the week

  • before Mubarak’s resignation, tweets about Egypt ballooned from just over two thousand

  • a day to nearly a quarter-million. This inspired Twitter-organized protests in Turkey, Libya

  • and Ukraine, a string of events known as the Twitter Revolution. Experts say internal communication

  • through social media was essential to these popular uprisings, as media outlets were often

  • controlled by oppressive governments.

  • But despite its overwhelming use as a force of good, Twitter is also a promotional tool

  • for terrorist groups like ISIS. In an effort to condemn such behavior, the company has

  • shut down more than 125,000 accounts with pro-terrorism rhetoric The move was applauded

  • by the Obama Administration, who has pushed for more government collaboration with social

  • media sites.

  • So just how powerful is Twitter? Well, with its popularity among corporations, politicians,

  • and activists there’s no denying the social network's widespread reach. But Twitter’s

  • real power may lie in its ability to get the world to embrace brevity.

In 2006, Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey launched the social network’s first tweet. In the

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