A brief history of Twitter -- in tweets08 november 2013, 14:07
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.
An illustration picture shows the Twitter logo reflected in the eye of a woman in Berlin. ©Reuters/Fabrizio Bensch
Below is a sampling of 10 memorable tweets since the Twitter era began.
"just setting up my twttr"
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."
Jack Dorsey.©Reuters/Rebecca Cook
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."
"There's a plane in the Hudson. I'm on the ferry going to pick up the people. Crazy."
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.
Passengers stand on the wings of a U.S. Airways plane as a ferry pulls up to it after it landed in the Hudson River in New York. ©Reuters/Brendan McDermid
Emergency personnel search for passengers after a U.S. Airways plane landed in the Hudson River in New York. ©Reuters/Eric Thayer
"HI TWITTERS. THANK YOU FOR A WARM WELCOME. FEELING REALLY 21st CENTURY"
Talk show queen and media royalty Oprah Winfrey took Twitter mainstream with her debut post and now has more than 21 million followers.
Oprah Winfrey. ©Reuters/Mario Anzuoni
"From orbit: Launch was awesome!! I am feeling great, working hard, & enjoying the magnificent views, the adventure of a lifetime has begun!"
Astronaut Mike Massimino makes history with the first tweet from space.
NASA astronaut Mike Massimino. ©Reuters
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.
An Internet user tries to log onto social networking site Facebook in Tehran. ©Reuters/Morteza Nikoubazi
"Helicopter hovering above Abbottabad at 1AM (is a rare event)."
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.
A computer screen in Singapore May 2, 2011, shows the Twitter page of Sohaib Athar. In the early hours of Monday, Athar reported on his Twitter account that a loud bang had rattled his windows in the Pakistani town of Abbottabad. A few hours later he posted another tweet: "Uh oh, now I'm the guy who liveblogged the Osama raid without knowing it." ©Reuters/ David Loh
"Four more years"
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.
U.S. President Barack Obama hugs First Lady Michelle Obama before he addresses supporters on last night of campaign in a downtown Des Moines, Iowa, rally. ©Reuters/Larry Downing
"Dear friends, I am pleased to get in touch with you through Twitter. Thank you for your generous response. I bless all of you from my heart."
Pope Benedict XVI launched the first papal Twitter account, which was continued by his successor, Pope Francis. The English-language papal account has more than three million followers, and a Spanish-language version four million.
Pope Benedict XVI posts his first tweet using an iPad tablet after his Wednesday general audience in Paul VI's Hall at the Vatican. ©Reuters/Osservatore Romano
"Power Out? No Problem. You can still dunk in the dark."
A tweet fired off by the makers of Oreo cookies when a power outage interrupted the American football spectacle known as the Super Bowl was an instant hit, demonstrating the potential of Twitter to adapt cleverly to the real-time messaging platform.
Photo courtesy of blog.homesalesoftallahassee.com
"Breaking: Two Explosions in the White House and Barack Obama is injured."
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 that it had become a target.
Police cars are parked in front of the White House as Pennsylvania Avenue remains closed to pedestrian traffic in Washington. ©Reuters/Kevin Lamarque