Happy Fifth Birthday Twitter! Five Milestones from the Past Five Years

Jack Dorsey tweeted the first tweet five years ago today. And in those past five years, the social information service has gone from “Twttr”, a small San Francisco startup, to Twitter, a global network that has impacted revolutions, celebrity feuds, political disputes and more. Here’s to five years of tweets, and five milestones along the way.

“just setting up my twttr”

Five years ago today, Twitter was born. The first tweet, and Twitter’s first milestone now famously quoted and sure to be referred to by most tech blogs on Twitter’s fifth anniversary, was sent by Jack Dorsey (@Jack) on March 21, 2006.

As Dom Sagolla (one of the founding members of the twttr team) remembers it, after that fateful first tweet, the small group of founders had to act as twttr evangelists, selling the service to their coworkers and trying to generate a buzz. Those using twttr were mostly friends and relatives for the first year.

And that’s when Twitter hit its second milestone: SXSW. On March 11, 2007, almost a year after the first tweet and four years ago, Twitter won a SXSW award in the “Blog” category, and Jack Dorsey famously thanked them in 140 characters.

Twitter’s third milestone really propelled it into the mainstream. Ashton Kutcher (@aplusk) challenged (and beat) CNN (@CNN) to reach a million followers. During April 2009, the friendly rivalry between the celebrity and the news outlet was covered extensively, and Twitter became an almost-household-name.

The fourth milestone in Twitter’s past five years hit in April 2010, when they launched their first round of advertising products, Promoted Tweets. While there was some negative user feedback, these and the other Promoted Products (Trends, Accounts), would go on to become the backbone for Twitter’s business model today.

And finally, Twitter’s fifth milestone: Jack Dorsey’s five-year retrospective on Twitter itself. You can check out how it all started on Jack’s Tumblr, where he has posted conversations between himself and Biz about creating the “update” button, twttr’s first logo, and experimenting with SMS.

Of course, there are many other significant events in Twitter’s five year history, including its many rounds of funding, how it has been used during disasters, citizen journalism, and dozens of others. We’d like to say a big “Happy Birthday” to Twitter today, and wish it many more years of growth.