Every day, hundreds of millions of people post hundreds of millions of tweets. Some are completely random and let people know what they had for breakfast, while others are breaking big news stories. Twitter, perhaps more than any other social media platform, has been polarizing and basically a battleground for political opinions. Things were more simple when it started all those years ago, so let’s take a dive through Twitter’s history and find some of the most surprising facts that you might not have known before.
5. The First Tweet is Old Enough to Drive
It’s hard to stay relevant for more than a few minutes in today’s world fueled by technology, it seems. However, Twitter has proven to be a mainstay and has lasted for more than 16 years. On March 21, 2006, the first ever tweet was sent by Jack Dorsey at 3:50 PM Eastern time. It simply read “just setting up my twttr.” Since then, the website hasn’t looked back with countless tweets making their way to the universe.
4. The Creation of the Hashtag
You might think that the hashtag that we all know and love came with the invention of Twitter, but it actually took some time for it to become a thing. The pound sign, as we knew it before social media, was first used by Chris Messina to get tweets based around single topics all in one space. “How do you feel about using # (pound) for groups,” Messina asked in a tweet back in August 2007. Now, there’s a hashtag for just about everything and you can see them plastered more than company slogans in advertising.
3. Library of Congress Gets Involved
Back in 2010, the Library of Congress began archiving every public tweet when the social media platform really started to take off. This included adding all presidential tweets into the national archives. However, that would come to an end on January 1, 2018. The LoC opted to instead archive tweets selectively so that the ones that were more culturally significant were focused on instead of just any random thought. It also proved to be a lot more cost effective.
2. The Failed Ventures
Tweeting isn’t the only thing that Twitter has had a focus on over the years. There were also short form videos and live streaming, both of which went by the wayside. Vine was the video service that created countless internet memes and was massively popular, paving the way for TikTok. However, they cut the service back in 2016 and are probably kicking themselves for that. As for live streaming, Twitter had their attempt with Periscope, but was overshadowed by platforms such as YouTube and Twitch.
1. Notable Bans
There’s a chance that you’ve been blocked by someone on Twitter, but you really have to do something against terms of service to get banned from the site. There have been some notable bans during Twitter’s history, including then-president Donald Trump due to the acts of January 6, 2021. Other notable people that have been banned from Twitter include Azealia Banks, Tila Tequila, Martin Shkreli, Alex Jones and even former Major League Baseball star Aubrey Huff.