Happy 10th birthday, Twitter. On March 21, 2006, company founder Jack Dorsey sent the first tweet — “inviting coworkers” — and the website grew from there.
Today, the social media giant has more than 320 million monthly active users, 80 percent of which access the service on a mobile device in more than 35 languages, according to the company’s website.
“It is Twitter’s efficiency and simplicity as a forum for instant sharing of news, links and views, sometimes right from the source of that news or eyewitnesses, that make it indispensable,” business columnist Phil Rosenthal (@phil_rosenthal) wrote for the Chicago Tribune this week. “Even when it’s shouting. Even when it’s obnoxious. Even when it’s boring. But it’s never boring for long.”
Whether you use it for repeatedly tweeting at One Direction, penning micropoetry or tracking politicians’ deleted messages, you’ve probably shared something on the site over the past decade. Take a second (or 140 of them) to read a few quick facts about Twitter, collected from AdWeek, CNBC and other sites:
Twitter made its public debut about three months after Dorsey’s first tweet.
He called it “twttr” with no vowels. (This was later the subject of an April Fool’s Day joke.)
Each year, Twitter awards a Golden Tweet — the most retweeted message posted on the site that year. In 2010, it was by TV host Stephen Colbert. In 2011, it was a charity post from Wendy's.
In 2012, the most retweeted messages were this explicit protest against the NFL lockout from Green Bay Packers player T.J. Lang, this quote supporting same-sex marriage from President Barack Obama, this Obama re-election celebration and this outburst from Justin Bieber:
I'M SEXY AND I KNOW IT
— Justin Bieber (@justinbieber) November 21, 2011
In 2013, the top tweets were somber. One was from "Glee" actress Lea Michele memorializing her late boyfriend Cory Monteith, and another was from actor Paul Walker's account confirming his death.
The Golden Tweet in 2014 was, of course, this famous Oscars selfie, and in 2015 it was Harry Styles' message telling the fans to calm down about Zayn Malik leaving One Direction.
All the love as always. H
— Harry Styles. (@Harry_Styles) March 26, 2015
A new person runs Sweden's Twitter account every week. They're called curators.
Wired reported last month that Twitter was valued at about $10 billion.
Among the most-used hashtags last year were #JeSuisCharlie, #BlackLivesMatter, #IStandWithAhmed and #TheDress.
When a person uses a dollar sign to denote a stock, it's called a cashtag.
The users with the most followers are, in order, Katy Perry, Bieber, Taylor Swift, Obama and YouTube, according to Twitter Counter.
Twitter's famous blue mascot is named Larry, the "Today" show reported.
— Ryan Sarver (@rsarver) February 27, 2012
Three years ago, hackers took control of the Associated Press' verified account and tweeted the false message "Breaking: Two Explosions in the White House and Barack Obama is injured." The stock market tanked, costing about $136 billion, International Business Times reported. The tweet was quickly corrected.
Twitter's "favorite" feature became a "like" feature this past November. Despite initial public outcry, "like" immediately become more popular than "favorite," according to the Verge.
Director James Cameron tweeted from the Mariana Trench, or the deepest point in the Pacific Ocean, in 2012. Astronaut Scott Kelly tweeted regularly from outer space last year:
— Scott Kelly (@StationCDRKelly) January 23, 2016
The Queen of England joined Twitter in 2014 — and signed her message "Elizabeth R."
A 2015 Pew Research Center survey found the site was especially popular among men, people under the age of 30 and residents in urban areas.
If you go twiter.com, it redirects to twitter.com.