This article was published on September 18, 2008

TwitterKeys: the first 48 hours…

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

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:

Here at The Next Web Blog we love to write about people working on Next Web technologies and services. But we also love to contribute a little ourselves from time to time. Hope you like what we do!

Get the TNW newsletter

Get the most important tech news in your inbox each week.

Also tagged with

Back to top