Twitter: 1 billion 'tweets' sent each week

Twitter is celebrating its fifth birthday this month, so the company has released a fresh set of stats about its growth and usage, such as the fact that it took more than 3 years for users to send the first 1 billion "tweets," a feat now accomplished every week.

Over the past year, the average number of Twitter messages sent per day has increased from 50 million in March 2010 to 140 million this month, the company said in a blog post.

Currently, an average of 460,000 Twitter accounts are created every day, while the number of Twitter mobile users has spiked 182% year-on-year.

Despite that growth, Twitter seems to have a lot of room for expanding its user base. In December, The Pew Internet & American Life Project reported that 8% of U.S. residents use Twitter.

As Twitter turns 5 years old, it finds itself increasingly at odds with some of the external developers who have built complementary applications for the microblogging service.

Over the past 12 to 15 months, Twitter has been adding native functionality to the service that in many cases replicates and competes against applications built by these developers, leading to tension and complaints from them.

Most recently, this weekend the company stated that it doesn't want developers creating client applications that replicate Twitter.com's basic user functionality.

Twitter also cautioned that developers of existing client applications will be held to stricter enforcement of terms and conditions.

Twitter said it needs to do this to make the overall user experience more uniform and of higher quality, but some affected developers are crying foul, saying Twitter doesn't want people using alternative client applications so as not to dilute Twitter.com's traffic and fledgling ad business.

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