Twitter turns 10: 6 moments that defined a decade

21 Mar 2016

Time flies when you’re one of the most popular services on the internet. As Twitter turns 10, the social network shared six of the moments that have defined its rise to the top with us.

A lot has changed for Twitter since its founders Jack Dorsey, Evan Williams, Biz Stone, and Noah Glass pressed the ‘live’ button on 21 March 2006, with around 320m people now actively using the site.

The most obvious difference between now and then was that, back in the day, Twitter was actually called ‘Twttr’, named by the four grad students as an emulation of so many other tech companies that feel that vowels are not worthy of a company name.

The name was also largely down to the fact that they were pipped to the post by someone who owned the domain and it took six months of bargaining with its owner to get it handed over.

As the months went on, Twitter gradually developed to a point where it was generating about 20,000 tweets a day worldwide, which is not bad for any new, out-of-the-blue social media start-up.

Turning a corner

Yet, the first identifiable surge in popularity was seen when Twitter promoted itself at SXSW in 2007, which caught the attention of journalists, in particular, with tweets rising to 60,000 per day after the major event.

Now, as you may know, it’s become the go-to place for instant information and reaction both for news and opinion, whether it’ a pop band splitting up, or a major terrorist attack.

While there are still questions surrounding how the next 10 years will go for a service that finds itself in two minds over its future, here’s a look back on six of the incidents that ‘blew up Twitter’, to use internet parlance.

But, before you check them out, you might want to head over to Twitter’s own account for a rather neat addition they’ve added to mark the occasion. To give you a hint, it involves balloons.

Birthday cake image via Shutterstock

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic