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Twitter’s History as Told by #FirstTweets

Did you know that there are over 500 million Tweets sent today?

That’s about 6,000 Tweets per second. Who knew an SMS-like platform could spurn such a following that will become one of the most invaluable – and influential – social media networks we know of today. What started as Jack Dorsey’s (Twitter co-founder) idea of keeping tabs on friends is now a worldwide phenomena. Twitter has certainly come a long way. In 2006, Jack wanted something to keep people in the loop that was like an SMS service – but isn’t. Back then, they were still at Odeo (a podcasting company) and co-founder Evan Williams gave the green light to Jack to spend more time on the project.

Software developer Noah Glass, was said to have given the names ‘twttr’ (its earlier form) and ‘Twitter’ to the future social media giant. It was cool then to drop the vowels for domain names. But the site’s supposedly original moniker was: ‘’.

Twitter’s moment in the sun came in 2007 during the South By Southwest Interactive conference. With about 60,000 Tweets a day during the affair, it went from being a simple social platform to a sort of news channel, with all the people wanting to be kept in the loop.


With its ever growing population, it’s no surprise that Twitter will usually experience downtime. In 2008, something beautiful came out of this dilemma when co-founder Biz Stone found artist and designer Yiying Lu’s work. Known today as the ‘Fail Whale’, it was Yiying’s birthday icon she used to send to friends all over the world. The simple yet whimsical design comprised of a sleepy white whale being carried by eight birds on a huge net. Stone thought it was an awesome representation of what the site was going through: and so it was Twitter’s official downtime error screen up until 2013. And so we say goodbye to the Fail Whale – but not to Yiying’s awesome art, of course.


According to online users, the first ReTweet came from Eric Rice, a Product and Marketing Exec. Meanwhile, the first hashtag belonged to Chris Messina on 2007; and the first ‘@’ mention by Robert Anderson.


People weren’t too keen on the idea at first – but the public followed suit (and so did Facebook regarding hashtags) and a whole new culture evolved.

The Way We Tweet Today

The social media we know today certainly would feel empty without Twitter. Thanks to plenty of updates, we can now add pictures, emojis, and videos. The platform has been indispensable for keeping tabs on what’s hot and what’s not. Whether you’re in the digital marketing industry OR you simply want to spy on your friends, Twitter offers a quick, unique way to connect.

This year, Twitter will be upping its game yet again by giving search engine giant Google access to their database (also known as ‘Firehose’). This allows Tweets to be searchable on the search engine; giving non-subscribers a view of what the platform has in store for them. Developers are slowly updating their systems, but the launch isn’t for a couple of months. As both parties are tight-lipped on the matter, users and social media marketers just need to stay tuned for more details.


See our social media strategist’s #FirstTweet!

Hopefully, not only will future updates benefit the Twitter-verse, but the entire social media sphere as well. Let’s keep our fingers crossed for all things good!

In celebration of Twitter’s 9th anniversary, do you remember your #FirstTweet?
Come join the conversation on Twitter!

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