This past Friday, Twitter celebrated its 8th birthday of keeping thoughts under 140 characters. Since its beginnings, Twitter has developed a whole new way of communicating. Retweets and hashtags have now become a part of our everyday culture. Over 218 million people are now participating in the buzz, tweeting billions of tweets each day. Not only does it serve as a fun messaging tool, but more recently has also developed into a more serious promotional outlet for news agencies, politicians, and celebrities.

To celebrate the milestone, Twitter launched a website that allows users to look back at their very first tweet.

Let’s take a look at some of the most popular first tweets:

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Co-founder, Jack Dorsey, tweets the first tweet ever the day after the Twitter was launched.

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Twitter did not always have all of the features that it does today. Over the past eight years, updates such as retweets, hashtags, and replies were created in order to produce a more user-friendly interface. However, interestingly enough, it wasn’t the Twitter team that first established these functions. In fact, it was users who created them.

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The reply concept of ‘@’ followed by the user name was first used in November of 2006. This function drew from conventions already being used on the Internet. Twitter later supported the reply in May of 2007.

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In August of 2007 the retweet was then created by user Eric Rice. It wasn’t until November of 2009 that Twitter started letting users automatically retweet.

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Finally, the hashtag was introduced later in 2007. Little did anyone know the cultural phenomena that the pound sign would create. It was supported by Twitter about a year later in July of 2008. One of the best showings of how much the hashtag has taken over dialogue today is the well-known skit presented by Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake on NBC’s Late Night With Jimmy Fallon.

Twitter is undoubtedly one of the most actively utilized social media outlets in the world. Retweets and hashtags have allowed us to share information with individuals in a way never thought possible. If these social reforms can be accomplished in just eight years, imagine what the next eight will bring.

A look at some of the most unforgettable moments from the past eight years:

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Twitter breaks the news of the historic plane crash in the Hudson River.

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President Obama’s tweet after his reelection set the retweet record.

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Ellen DeGeneres’ tweet of the ultimate selfie at the 2014 Oscars broke Obama’s previous record as the most retweeted tweet of all time.

Happy tweeting!

 

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