Today, Twitter turns ten years old, which is testament to how quickly time flies when you’re uploading your life to the web in 140-character chunks.
Twitter’s decade of hashtagging dominance began on March 21, 2006, though no one knew then exactly how pervasive the site would become. We now live in an age where it’s hard to find anything at all that isn’t prefixed with a # or @.
Here’s the first tweet ever sent on that fateful day, posted by none other than Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey:
Twitter – once dubbed “the SMS of the internet” – now boasts 500 million users worldwide. And here’s a fun fact: 84 million of those users follow singer Katy Perry, who currently ranks as the most popular Twitter user ever. That beats Twitter’s own account, which comes in at ninth place with a comparatively paltry 53 million.
But like most web giants sired in the noughties, Twitter didn’t start out as the slick, refined service we know today. To celebrate its journey, we’ve taken a look back at how the Twitter homepage has evolved since the website began.
First stop: 2005.
Before Twitter was Twitter, it was this. We’re not sure either…
Ah, that’s more like it! This is Twitter, mere months after the website’s launch.
Look at that! People are @-tagging each other. Seems like 2006 wasn’t so different after all.
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As far back as 2007, people were using Twitter to complain about their lives.
This is when Twitter’s homepage stopped showing a tweet feed, and started compelling unsubscribed onlookers to sign up for hashtagging goodness.
Not much changed between 2007 and 2008, except for the addition of a video explaining what Twitter is all about. Simpler times, eh?
Woah, Twitter is starting to look like a real website. And check out those trends: #SouljaBoyCameUp, Glee, and Google Wave. Those were the days.
By this point, Twitter had 49 million users globally. That was up 19 million on the start of 2010, and 51 million less than it would have exactly one year later.
If you thought 2009 looked cool, get a load of this future-fondling redesign.
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For most of us, this will sort of design will be among our earliest memories of Twitter. By the end of 2012, Twitter had nearly 200 million users.
A far cry from the eye-sore days of 2006, Twitter starts embracing visuals in a big way. This is also the same month that Twitter first floated on the stock market.
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Not much has changed here, except for the bio, which ramps up the focus on the fact that everything is happening right now. Immediately. Everywhere. All around you. But only on Twitter.
By the end of 2015, Twitter boasted just north of 300 million monthly active users.
2016 – Twitter today
Twitter is no longer just an incomprehensible stream of verbiage. It’s now categorised, out of time order, and brimming with gifs, autoplay videos, and more Moments than you can shake a cursor at.
When did you first join Twitter, if ever? And what changes would you like to see Twitter make in the future? Let us know in the comments.