Twitter’s Biggest Moments on Their 10th Anniversary
You guys! Twitter just turned ten. For ten years, Twitter has been giving us room to debate, create, meet, exclaim, and, most of all, tell our stories in real time. This was the first tweet, sent by Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey.
just setting up my twttr
— jack (@jack) March 21, 2006
I joined in 2008. This was my first tweet.
— Lucy Hitz (@LLHitz) June 2, 2009
That one was closely followed by this ground-breaking tweet.
Most of the people I am following either have E! reality shows or were members of popular mid-90's bands. Sick life.
— Lucy Hitz (@LLHitz) October 6, 2009
Pretty profound, huh? When I look at Jack’s and my own tweets I think: Wow, starting on a new social platform is awkward at first. You have no idea what you’re doing. When I expand that thought and bring it to the macro level, I think: Wow, when a social platform starts, it has no idea what it is going to become.
That’s because the very nature of social media requires change and evolution. Social media platforms rely on–and cannot exist without–human beings sharing content. Human desires and needs are constantly shifting, depending on age, technology, lifestyle, and culture.
Here’s a quick timeline of some of Twitter’s changes in the first decade of its existence.
Dorsey was named permanent CEO of Twitter on October 5, 2015.
Now that you have the cold, hard facts, let’s revisit some of my favorite Twitter moments in the past ten years, shall we?
The Epic Sandwich Tweet
wishing I had another sammich
— Biz Stone (@biz) March 21, 2006
‘Nuff said. Twitter is a vehicle for all modes of self-expression, including hunger. Check out how much engagement that tweet received, though…
The One with SXSW
SXSW 2007 was a major turning point for Twitter. As soon as Twitter won the Web Award, tweets circulated through the audience, catching the media’s attention in a big way.
The One That Made Hashtags a Thing
how do you feel about using # (pound) for groups. As in #barcamp [msg]?
— Chris Messina (@chrismessina) August 23, 2007
In August 2007, Chris Messina, a big open-source advocate, used the first-ever hashtag. To this day, Chris is credited with introducing the hashtag concept to Twitter.
NASA Gets on Board
Are you ready to celebrate? Well, get ready: We have ICE!!!!! Yes, ICE, *WATER ICE* on Mars! w00t!!! Best day ever!!
— MarsPhoenix (@MarsPhoenix) June 20, 2008
In June 2008, NASA’s use of Twitter redefined how news reached the masses.
The Redefinition Continues
This redefinition continued and was cemented in 2009, during the famous Hudson River plane landing, and this now-famous tweet and twitpic:
http://twitpic.com/135xa – There's a plane in the Hudson. I'm on the ferry going to pick up the people. Crazy.
— Janis Krums (@jkrums) January 15, 2009
Michael Jackson’s Death
Michael Jackson showed me that you can actually see the beat. He made the music come to life!! He made me believe in magic. I will miss him!
— Diddy (@Diddy) June 25, 2009
When the King of Pop died in June 2009, celebrities and fans took to Twitter to express their grief, and set a tweets-per-second record at 493, crashing Twitter’s servers.
Legitimacy Is Cemented
Library to acquire ENTIRE Twitter archive — ALL public tweets, ever, since March 2006! Details to follow.
— Library of Congress (@librarycongress) April 14, 2010
When the Library of Congress wants to catalog you, you know you’re a big deal.
A Place for Sports Fans
A new tweets-per-second record was set when Japan beat Denmark in the World Cup. At 3,283 TPS, the new record absolutely crushed the former TPS record (Michael Jackson’s death: 493 TPS).
The Colbert Effect
in honor of oil-soaked birds, 'tweets' are now 'gurgles. http://bit.ly/cIhZNf
— Stephen Colbert (@StephenAtHome) June 17, 2010
Stephen Colbert had the most retweeted tweet of 2010, so co-founder Biz Stone bestowed the first-ever Golden Tweet award on The Colbert Report.
Revolution Starts Here
— Anonymous (@Anon_VV) January 26, 2011
Twitter became a communication platform for the Arab Spring Revolution.
The Boston Marathon Bombing
Suspect in custody. Officers sweeping the area. Stand by for further info.
— Boston Police Dept. (@bostonpolice) April 20, 2013
In 2013, the Boston Marathon bombing occurred. As news of the tragedy and the hunt for its perpetrators spread, Twitter showed its strength as a major journalism and news-spreading tool in moments of crisis.
Castle in the Sky FTW…Again
In 2013, another screening of Castle in the Sky set another TPS record, with 143,199 tweets per second. This drastic increase is indicative of Twitter’s insane growth.
The One That Broke The Internet
— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) March 3, 2014
Ellen DeGeneres and her 2014 Oscars selfie amassed more than 3 million retweets and became the most popular tweet of all time.
The One with Drake
— Apple Music (@AppleMusic) October 20, 2015
Drake debuted his Hotline Bling video on Apple Music and the Twitter applause was fierce.
What are your favorite Twitter moments in the past decade? Let us know on Twitter.
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I’m the Head of Marketing Communications here at Simply Measured, where I'm responsible for our content program, social media marketing, PR, and comarketing ventures. I love yoga, The X-Files, peaty scotch, hiking, and poetry. If I were a social media channel, I’d want to be Instagram, but I think I’m Twitter.