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What a difference eight years makes.
Twitter celebrated a birthday on Thursday morning, marking eight years since the microblogging service first unveiled itself to the world.
It’s a notable milestone; San Francisco-based Twitter has grown to host more than 240 million users globally. Revenue has ramped up from zilch to a run rate of about $1 billion in just a few years.
The biggest evolution? It’s in how many people use the service. Today, Twitter pitches itself as a global conversation platform, the place to go for in-the-moment chatter about what’s happening.
But take a look at the First Tweets tool that Twitter built for today’s birthday party: It’ll take you back to the very first tweet you ever sent on the service.
Mine was awful, but not uncommon!
— ಠ_ಠ (@MikeIsaac) January 15, 2009
My colleague Peter Kafka’s tweet was cute, and nice to know that he has always been a man of the people:
about to converse w/brooklyn shopkeepers.
— Peter Kafka (@pkafka) December 23, 2006
And my boss Kara Swisher’s first tweet is a pretty accurate portrayal of what her life is still like to this day:
— Kara Swisher (@karaswisher) May 4, 2007
It’s funny, and for some of us more advanced users, it’s slightly embarrassing.
But the most interesting part is looking at the way many of us used to tweet — basically as short status updates (which was co-founder Jack Dorsey’s idea for the service) — compared with how we tweet and converse on Twitter today. Just take a look at Dorsey’s first tweet from years ago:
just setting up my twttr
— Jack Dorsey (@jack) March 21, 2006
At least, that’s how the power users among us have evolved. Now if Twitter can just teach the rest of the world how to tweet, perhaps its ninth and 10th birthdays will be a whole lot cooler.