But in 2011, microblogging service Twitter was at the epicenter of these events, broadcasting minute-to-minute updates and firsthand experiences from users to the rest of the world.
For protesters, Twitter served as a primary communicator to connect with other protesters and civilians, organize meetings and post pictures and videos of uprisings. Unfortunately, hundreds of protesters who encouraged violence via social media, or who were photographed and filmed taking part in the violence, were prosecuted.
Twitter also launched new upgrades and designs for its services and made several acquisitions, including web advertising company AdGrok, social analytics platform BackType and lists and interests-focused startup Bagcheck.
Unfortunately for Twitter, 2011 also brought a number of scams — from 11.6 hours to a beach body weight-loss product to the Tweeter Viewer, these scams targeted many user accounts.
Check out the gallery below to see more of Twitter’s major milestones in 2011.
1. Egypt Blocks Twitter As Protests Become Violent
Social media played a key role throughout Egypt's protests. First, the protests were organized through a Facebook Page, then protesters turned to Twitter to post photos, video feeds and other information about the protests, using several hashtags devoted to the revolution.