Twitter had another banner year, repeatedly setting and breaking records for volume of tweets--first during the London Olympics and then during the presidential election, which saw a peak of 327,452 tweets per minute and the most retweeted picture of all time. The service also passed 500 million total users and 200 million active users in 2012, and it introduced the "cards" API that allows companies to automatically add multimedia elements when someone tweets a link to their site--all with barely a Fail Whale to be seen. Even the Pope signed up for a Twitter account in 2012.
Not everything the happened in the Twitterverse was positive, though. The company continued to lock down its API, shutting out the third party Twitter clients that helped it become popular in the first place. Tweetro, the popular Windows 8 client, became the latest victim of the policy when Twitter shut off its API access, even though there's not currently an official native Windows 8 Twitter app.
The microblogging service was also on the receiving end of heavy-handed corporate policy this year, as Instagram (now owned by Facebook) shut off Twitter integration, making it impossible for users to post Instagram photos directly into their Twitter feeds . The very next day, however, Twitter outed native photo filters of its own, somewhat--somewhat--softening the blow for people who love to take pictures of bicycles leaning against lamp posts in the rain.
Yahoo's executive turmoil
If any tech company needs a strong hand at the helm, it's Yahoo. The company still owns one of the most visited sites on the planet, but its future strategy is unclear. That's what the firm was hoping for when they hired on Scott Thompson shortly into the new year--but it's not what they got.
Thompson, who took over for an underperforming Carol Bartz, didn't even last half a year. He was fired in May for faking an entry on his resume, prompting five board members to resign their position early and leading Yahoo to begin its search for its fifth CEO in as many years.