It took just 18 minutes for Twitter to go from family-friendly to potty-mouth.
At 12:50 p.m. on March 21, 2006, then-Odeo employee Jack Dorsey upended publishing forever when he posted these fateful words: "just setting up my twttr."
Political movements would never be the same. Local news would forever be scooped on earthquakes. Cat videos would speed around the world at lightspeed. Serious forward progress had been made.
And at 1:08 p.m., it all went downhill with this (probably NSFW) tweet from @jeremy: "Oh, s--t, I just twittered a little."
In all seriousness, it's a lot of fun looking back at the very beginning of a service which can honestly be said to have changed the world. And with just a little playing around with URLs, you can do just that.
- Twitter paid $36 million for IBM patents to avoid a lawsuit
- Twitter prohibits posting of sexually explicit videos on Vine
- The 404 1,439: Where Satoshi Nakamoto is Satoshi Nakamoto (podcast)
- Texas man and his dogs go after Ellen's selfie retweet record
- Stealthy startup Clinkle nabs another big name: Twitter's ex chief designer
You may think that Dorsey (@jack) was just being short and sweet when he penned the first-ever tweet. But in retrospect, it seems that those words were either auto-generated, or cut-and-pasted by several other of Twitter's co-founders and first employees. After all, the first-ever tweets by Evan Williams (@ev) and Biz Stone (@biz) were also "just setting up my twttr." And the same goes for a number of others, including @meredith, whose first tweet used those same words, but whose second was "typing my first message."
Aha! The smoking gun!
Happy birthday, Twitter
On Twitter's sixth birthday, an examination of some of the first-ever tweets reveals that the service went from zero to, well, Twitter as we know it in just minutes. It may not have had political organizing or on-the-ground news reporting that first day, but a lot of the elements that make Twitter what it is were in evidence within half an hour.
Consider: Dorsey's first tweet came at 12:50 p.m. Stone's first came just a minute later. Williams was seriously late to the party, offering up his first tweet a full 12 minutes after the service launched.
At 1:02 p.m. that day, Dorsey tweeted that he was "inviting coworkers," and then just six minutes later @jeremy dropped the S-bomb.
But then, that same minute, another first--the first Twitter taunt, when Dorsey tweeted "waiting for dom to update more." Followed, a minute later, of course, by the first Twitter rejoinder, when @dom (Dom Sagolla) replied, "waiting for Jack to update more first."
By 1:10 p.m.--20 minutes after the service went live--it was already clear where Twitter was going. And Sagolla nailed it: "oh this is going to be addictive."
Of course, it took just 26 minutes for the service's first utterly mundane post, this gem from Stone: "wishing I had another sammich."