Social media service Twitter has been celebrating its sixth birthday this week, with the site still growing at a fast rate.

In a statement posted on the company's official blog, it was noted there are now more than 140 million active users on the network, sending a total of 340 million messages every day.

While it took three years, two months and a day from the launch to hit the milestone of the first billion tweets, the site now sees this number sent every three days and is ranked by Alexa as the ninth most visited domain on the web.

Twitter said when founder of the service Jack Dorsey first sketched out the idea for the website on a notepad in 2006, "no one could have predicted the trajectory of this new communication tool".

The statement continued by telling its users: "We mark our sixth birthday with you in mind and celebrate your myriad ways of engaging, enjoying and emoting on our platform."

Over the past six years, the growth of the site has seen it become a key method of connecting people and it is said to have played a significant role in world events such as the Arab Spring.

It was also used to break news such as the death of Osama bin Laden, while a host of celebrities have taken to the service in order to keep in touch with fans.

Currently, the most popular person on the site is Lady Gaga, who has over 21 million followers, while the most prolific user is claimed by Twitter Counter to be a Japanese individual with the username Yougakudan_00, who has sent over 36 million tweets.

The birthday sparked congratulations from a range of people, including media tycoon Rupert Murdoch, who joined the service himself recently. He described the site on his personal account as a "remarkable company that's helped change the news biz and the world".

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