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Tweet: The Most Lucrative Branding Accident of All Time

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We’ve all heard the cliche that “it’s better to be lucky than good,” and when it comes to Twitter’s billion dollar brand, that’s partially true. There’s no doubt that Twitter is indeed an “incredibly powerful real-time information sharing network which has transformed communication.” I wonder if the company would be as ubiquitous, though, had it not stumbled upon the word tweet? As we all know, “tweet” was inducted as both a noun and a verb into the canonical Oxford English Dictionary in 2013. Even the almighty “google” has failed to reach that milestone.

According to Silicon Valley lore, it first morphed from “Twitter update” to “twit” because a third-party developer (let us call him The Accidental Tweetist) thought the existing language was “too wordy” and “boring,” but was probably due to an excessive intake of Red Bull butting up against an overworked keyboard. It further evolved after a Twitter engineer came to the existential realization that it was better to be a “tweet” than a “twit.”

This happy accident turned out to be the best branding non-decision the company could have made, or not made, because in spite of the sheer alliteration of the word, it is also undeniably audible in just about every situation. It marries an incredibly simple and utilitarian product with the light and fluffy imagery that Twitter has gone on to embrace.

Dang. It really is better to be lucky than good. Tweet is a billion times better than twit.

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