GitHub was launched in April 2008. Development of the GitHub platform began on October 19, 2007.

In a talk at Yahoo! headquarters on 24 February 2009, GitHub team members announced that during the first year that GitHub was online, it accumulated 46,000 public repositories, 17,000 of them in the previous month alone. At that time, about 6,200 repositories had been forked at least once and 4,600 merged. On 5 July 2009, a Github Blog post announced they reached the 100,000 users mark.

In another talk delivered at Yahoo! on 27 July 2009, Tom Preston-Werner announced that the numbers had risen to 90,000 unique public repositories, 12,000 having been forked at least once, for a total of 135,000 repositories.

  • In July 2010, GitHub announced that it hosts 1 million repositories.
  • In April 2011, GitHub announced that it is hosting 2 million repositories.
  • On 21 September 2011, GitHub announced it had reached over 1 million users.
  • On 13 September 2012, on their homepage, GitHub announced it had over 2.1 million users hosting over 3.7 million repositories.
  • On 19 December 2012, GitHub announced it had over 2.8 million users hosting over 4.6 million repositories
  • On 16 January 2013, GitHub announced it had passed the 3 million users mark and was then hosting more than 5 million repositories.
  • On 10 April 2013, GitHub announced it had 3.5 million users and was now hosting more than 6 million repositories.
  • On 23 December 2013, GitHub announced it had reached 10 million repositories.

The site provides social networking functionality such as feeds, followers, wikis (using gollum Wiki software) and the social network graph to display how developers work on their versions of a repository.GitHub also operates other services: a pastebin-style site called Gist that provides wikis for individual repositories and web pages that can be edited through a Git repository, a slide hosting service called Speaker Deck, and a web analytics platform called Gauges.As of January 2010, GitHub is operated under the name GitHub, Inc.

The software that runs GitHub was written using Ruby on Rails and Erlang by GitHub, Inc. (previously known as Logical Awesome) developers Chris Wanstrath, PJ Hyett, and Tom Preston-Werner.

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