Twitter is celebrating 10 years of existence today. Despite the constant criticism and concerns about its future, the short-messaging social media phenomenon certainly has a lot to celebrate.
It’s become part of the globe’s cultural fabric, inescapable on media channels and immensely popular with celebrities who want to chat up their fans. It’s also become a critical tool for some social movements and a key source of breaking news for those who use it.
Twitter says it will be celebrating in its offices around the world today: “As we mark this milestone, it’s you we want to celebrate. As March 21 begins around the world, each of our global offices will kick off the day by showing our appreciation and gratitude — starting in Sydney and following the sun to headquarters in San Francisco. We are excited to celebrate with all of you.”
With our emotions stirred, let us now reflect on 10 things worth remembering on this birthday:
1. The first “tweet” came from cofounder and former and current CEO Jack Dorsey.
just setting up my twttr
— Jack (@jack) March 21, 2006
2. Yep, it was originally called twittr. The early days of the Web 2.0 movement were dark times, when people believed that simply dropping vowels from a name would make it hip. Today, those people often have long beards and closely cropped hair on top.
— Hipster Beard Club (@HipsterBeardC) February 28, 2016
3. Twitter has seen its revenue grow from $28.3 million in 2010 to $2.22 billion in 2015. Yeah!
4. In 10 years, Twitter has lost a total of $2.09 billion, as of Dec. 2015 (and counting). Gulp!
5. The company has had four CEOs in 10 years: Jack Dorsey-Evan Williams-Dick Costolo-Jack Dorsey.
6. Twitter had 3,900 full-time employees at the end of Dec. 2015. It hired 3,700 in the previous five years. The first five years of its existence, it was a lean, mean fighting machine with only 200 members in the flock.
7. That annoying Oscar photo by Ellen DeGeneres is still the most retweeted and liked tweet:
— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) March 3, 2014
8. Cofounder Noah Glass picked the name Twitter after scouring the “tw” section of the dictionary.
9. Katy Perry is the most-followed person on Twitter, with 84.77 million followers. Sigh.
10. In November 2008, Facebook reportedly tried to buy Twitter for $500 million, back when that was a lot of money. Today, Twitter is worth $11.7 billion. (Though Facebook is worth $36.3 billion.)