This article was published on September 18, 2008

TwitterKeys: the first 48 hours…

TwitterKeys: the first 48 hours…
Boris Veldhuijzen van Zanten
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Boris Veldhuijzen van Zanten

Founder & board member, TNW

Boris is a serial entrepreneur who founded not only TNW, but also V3 Redirect Services (sold), HubHop Wireless Internet Provider (sold), and Boris is a serial entrepreneur who founded not only TNW, but also V3 Redirect Services (sold), HubHop Wireless Internet Provider (sold), and Boris is very active on Twitter as @Boris and Instagram: @Boris.

A little more than 24 hours ago we posted a bookmarklet here titled TwitterKeys and then all hell broke loose. Here is what happened before we launched it and what has happened since.

On Tuesday evening, just as I was getting ready to go home, I noticed a Tweet on Twitter with a symbol in it which I hadn’t seen before. I copy pasted the symbol and Tweeted it:

Sander (@sandervdv) was working next to me and said “Hey, just open your Character Palette. There are tons of symbols there that you can copy paste”. I immediately did and then replied “Very cool, but kind of hard to find. Can’t we just put them all in a floating browser window so you can easily copy paste them while you are Twittering?”. Sander smiled and said “Sure, and I can even write a Bookmarklet so you can easily access it”.

Then I left the office and went home. At 8pm I opened my laptop and found Sander’s Bookmarklet code in my Inbox. I did a quick test with the help of a few Twitter users to see which symbols would work on all platforms and by 10 pm I uploaded the files, wrote a simple post with the details and launched the whole thing by Twittering the following line:

I ♥ this ☛

Immediately I noticed people starting to play with the characters and flowers, comets and stars flying all over Twitter. Within a few hours the Twitter founders found out about TwitterKeys and twittered about it:

Biz Stone ( Co-Founder & 16,680 followers):
“Trying out TwitterKeys ☺ which helps you put little icons in your tweets ♥”

Evan Williams ( Co-Founder & 18,650 followers):
“♺ @biz‘s post about Neat! ”

Then other famous people started talking about it:

Howard Rheingold (3,908 followers)
“I ♥ this ☛ ☺ via @bomega

Leo Laporte (55,837 followers)
“I ♥ Twitterkeys. ☛ ☚”

So within a few hours these 4 Big Twitter users promoted Twitterkeys to their combined 95,075 followers. The result? About 15,000 unique visitors to the original blog post within 24 hours, 60+ diggs, lots and lots of TwitterKeys on Twitter, reviews on 150+ blogs and a nice spike in RSS Feed subscribers

Today we launched version 2 of TwitterKeys which displays even more characters. If you haven’t installed it yet do it now:

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