This site uses cookies to improve your experience and to provide services and advertising. By continuing to browse, you agree to the use of cookies described in our Cookies Policy. You may change your settings at any time but this may impact on the functionality of the site. To learn more see our Cookies Policy.
OK
Dublin: 17 °C Wednesday 24 July, 2019
Advertisement

A brief history of Twitter... in tweets

The company floated on the stock exchange this week, an indicator of its influence on the world of social media and information.

BILLIONS OF MESSAGES are fired off each week via Twitter, many of which capture defining moments in history, or in the evolution of the San Francisco-based firm.

Below is a sampling of 10 memorable tweets since the Twitter era began.

image

Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey sent the first tweet, an automated message saying “just setting up my twttr.” That same day, he sent the first live tweet, “inviting coworkers.”

—-

image

US university student James Buck got off a one-word tweet after being taken into custody by Egyptian authorities at an anti-government protest in that country. In what is seen as an early demonstration of the power of Twitter to rally people to a cause, the resulting outcry prompted authorities to quickly restore his liberty. He proclaimed his release in a tweet reading “Free.”

image

A US Airways jet crash-landed on the Hudson River in New York. This tweet and others by witnesses and passengers was accompanied by a link to a picture of the scene, breaking the news well ahead of mainstream media outlets.

—-

image

Talk show queen and media royalty Oprah Winfrey took Twitter mainstream with her debut post and now has more than 21 million followers.

image

Astronaut Mike Massimino makes history with the first tweet from space.

“Twitter Revolution”

June 2009

Not a specific tweet, but an unofficial name given to a bold movement by thousands of Iranians who took to the streets to protest what they saw as a rigged presidential election and used Twitter to thwart government efforts to block them from communicating with one another and the world. Two years later, Twitter would become a vital tool used in “Arab Spring” series of uprisings in an array of countries in the Middle East and North Africa.

image

IT consultant Sohaib Athar unknowingly tweeted about US Navy Seals raiding a nearby home in Pakistan where Osama bin Laden was hiding. Bin Laden was killed during the operation.

image

US President Obama put out word of his election victory along with a picture of him and his wife, Michelle, hugging. The post was “retweeted” more than 800,000 times, becoming the most shared Twitter message to date.

image

Pope Benedict XVI launched the first papal Twitter account, which was continued by his successor, Pope Francis. The number of followers following one of the several @pontifex handles has increased to over 10 million this year.

—-

“Breaking: Two Explosions in the White House and Barack Obama is injured.”

April 2013

Hackers from a group calling itself the Syrian Electronic Army commandeered a news wire account and posted this bogus message, showing that Twitter has become such a trusted place for the latest information – and not always advisedly so – that it had become a target.

© AFP 2013

Poll: Would you like to buy Twitter shares?>
Meet the Twitter billionaires. (Hint: there’s actually only one)>

  • Share on Facebook
  • Email this article
  •  

About the author:

AFP

Read next:

COMMENTS (1)