From a place for tech industry first adopters to post what they were having for lunch to a business requirement for customer service, marketing and more, Twitter has changed a lot over the last decade— and there’s certainly a lot of speculation around what comes next. Here’s our brief look at the last 10 years of Twitter and what might lay in the micro-blogging platform’s future.
A brief history of Twitter
While the first tweet was sent by Jack Dorsey in March of 2006- and it looked a little something like this-
just setting up my twttr
— Jack (@jack) March 21, 2006
Twttr Twitter didn’t really catch on until March 0f 2007 at SXSW Interactive. In August of that year, hashtags were first suggested by user Chris Messina, as we recently covered in a brief history of the hashtag.
how do you feel about using # (pound) for groups. As in #barcamp [msg]?
— Chris Messina ✌︎ (@chrismessina) August 23, 2007
in 2009, Twitter scooped the traditional news media when a a photo of the US Airways flight crashed into the Hudson River in NYC appeared in this tweet. 2010 was a big year for social media marketing on Twitter, with the introduction of Promoted Tweets, Promoted Trends and Promoted Accounts. The Library of Congress also started archiving tweets. In 2011, the world watched the Arab Spring Pro-Democracy movement unfold on Twitter, and the 100 million monthly active user mark was reached. 2012 saw self-service advertising for small businesses introduced, and President Obama celebrated his win with a now-familiar tweet.
Four more years. pic.twitter.com/bAJE6Vom
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) November 7, 2012
2013 brought us Vine and new number milestones: 500 million Tweets are sent per day, or 1 billion every ~2 days. In 2014, Ellen broke President Obama’s record for the most retweeted tweet with this selfie from the Oscars. New web profiles were also introduced, Twitter acquired Gnip, and Promoted Video launched. 2015 saw group direct messages as well as open DMs and a lift on the 140-character limit there only. Twitter also launched mobile video in addition to Moments, polls, the Twitter Brand Hub, and the acquisition of Periscope.
As for 2016. . .
The latest and greatest in Twitter features
So far this year, Twitter has changed things so Periscopes play live in your stream, they added a GIF library, and tweaked user timelines to show the most important tweets they might have missed while they were away instead of the standard view of every tweet in reverse-chronological order. While they’ve since turned that on in everyone’s feed, users can still go to settings to turn it back off for the original order. We wrote more about it when it first came out here.
What’s to come?
As for what lies ahead for Twitter in the next decade, we can’t wait to see where it goes and how it grows.
History of Twitter adapted from Twitter Milestones. If you’re curious about exploring anything from Twitter’s archive, you can access it through our Union Metrics Echo, our interactive archive search.