On March 21, 2006, co-founder Jack Dorsey sent the first-ever tweet and Twitter was born.
just setting up my twttr
— Jack Dorsey (@jack) March 21, 2006
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.
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.
Here’s what Twitter timelines looked like back then:
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.
Back in March 2009, @cnnbrk was the most-followed account on Twitter, with a hefty 481,541 followers!
And here’s Twitter as of right now, circa July 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.