A Brief History of #Twitter (2006-2014)

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By Shea Bennett Comment

A Brief History of Twitter (2006-2014)

On March 21, 2006, co-founder Jack Dorsey sent the first-ever tweet and Twitter was born.

Jack’s famous missive started something, although at the time he and fellow co-founders Biz Stone and Evan Williams really had no idea what that was, what it could be, or what it would eventually become.

Later today, Twitter will release its latest quarterly earnings report, and all eyes will be on the all-important monthly active users number. Last quarter, Twitter had 255 million active users. When Jack wrote that tweet, there was just a handful – the people who worked there.

Indeed, back then, Twitter was very different. Everything evolved from a very simple idea that was originally know as stat.us. Here’s Dorsey’s original, pen-on-paper sketch.

A Brief History of Twitter (2006-2014)

When Twitter first opened its doors it was called Twttr. The name was inspired by Flickr and the five-character length of the U.S. SMS short codes, which is evident in the emphasis on sending a message via text in this very early screenshot from 2006.

A Brief History of Twitter (2006-2014)

Here’s what Twitter timelines looked like back then:

A Brief History of Twitter (2006-2014)

Thankfully everyone soon came to their senses, spelled Twitter properly, and finally gave birth to the micro-blogging social platform that many of us know and love today.

Fast-forward a few years later, and here are some other early Twitter screenshots.

A Brief History of Twitter (2006-2014)

Twitter Rolls Out New Homepage Design, Encourages Users To Follow Their Interests A Brief History of Twitter (2006-2014)

Back in March 2009, @cnnbrk was the most-followed account on Twitter, with a hefty 481,541 followers!

A Brief History of Twitter (2006-2014)

And here’s Twitter as of right now, circa July 2014.

A Brief History of Twitter (2006-2014)

Whatever happens after the earnings numbers tonight, one thing is certainly true: Twitter’s come a long, long way, and I have a feeling we’ve only just started to scratch the very surface of its possibilities. Hold on tight – it’s going to be a fun ride.