just setting up my twttr— Jack Dorsey (@jack) March 21, 2006
With that, a tweet was born. Twitter is marking its eighth birthday on Friday. In less than a decade, the social network has grown to 241 million monthly active users, with 500 million tweets sent per day. Its eighth year was its biggest one yet as Twitter went public, debuting on the New York Stock Exchange last November.
To mark the blue bird’s birthday, here’s a look back at eight memorable moments in Twitter communications.
1. Ellen DeGeneres’ Oscars selfie
The Academy Awards host recruited some of Hollywood’s most beloved faces for an epic selfie that broke a retweet record previously held by President Obama.
2. Obama’s victory photo
Four more years. pic.twitter.com/bAJE6Vom— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) November 7, 2012
Before Ellen stole his thunder, this simple and emotional post following Obama’s reelection in 2012 set a Twitter record with more than 780,000 retweets.
3. Tweeting from space
Hello Twitterverse! We r now LIVE tweeting from the International Space Station -- the 1st live tweet from Space! :) More soon, send your ?s— TJ Creamer (@Astro_TJ) January 22, 2010
With Twitter, you don’t have to own a space suit to orbit the Earth. Timothy Creamer, an astronaut on board the International Space Station, sent the first live tweet from space.
4. Introducing Pope Francis
As white smoke poured from a chimney on the roof of the Sistine Chapel, social media users got a crash course in Latin when the Vatican took to Twitter to announce the election of Pope Francis. Translation: "We have a pope."
5. Pakistani man live-tweets Osama bin Laden raid
Late one night in Abbottabad, Pakistan, Sohaib Athar sent a series of tweets documenting the events heard outside his window. Without realizing it, he was live-tweeting the raid by US operatives that killed terrorist Osama bin Laden.
6. Voices of Sweden
Vampires and werewolves at the Hallwyl Museum. Fear spurs the imagination and the kids stories are going to be so great! Yey!— @sweden / Dilsa (@sweden) March 17, 2014
A Swedish government program caused some critics to shake their heads when it decided to turn over the country’s official Twitter account to a new citizen every week. While sometimes stirring controversy, the initiative has also shed light on the country’s people and proven there is no such thing as a typical Swede.
7. Announcing the Royal Engagement
The Prince of Wales is delighted to announce the engagement of Prince William to Miss Catherine Middleton - www.princeofwales.gov.uk— Clarence House (@ClarenceHouse) November 16, 2010
Before Kate Middleton flashed her sapphire ring to reporters, Clarence House, the royal home in London, revealed her engagement to Prince William via Twitter.
8. Climbing Mount Everest
Despite a weak 3G signal, British mountain climber Kenton Cool sent the first tweet from the top of Mount Everest.