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Twitter Turns Ten

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By: Lauren Purisky, Account Executive for Penn State Residential Dining

 Last Monday, Twitter turned 10 years old. Throughout a decade of the 140-character limit, hashtags and retweets, the social media platform garnered over 300 million users and made more than $500 million every quarter. Needless to say, it has been a raging success since its inception in 2006. Twitter’s entrance into “tweendom” prompts its users to reminisce about all that’s happened in the past 10 years.

Though Twitter began functioning in March of 2006, the hashtag feature wasn’t debuted until August of 2007. Initially pioneered as a way to bring ease to group communication, the hashtag now acts as an additional thought that goes along with the tweet’s message itself.

Ashton Kutcher, well-known as a heartthrob to girls growing up in the 1990s and early 2000s, was the first person to reach one million followers on the platform. Now, numerous celebrities have reached this milestone, with Katy Perry leading the pack at close to 85 million.

In 2010, Pope Benedict became the first pope to join Twitter. He created eight separate accounts in order to tweet in different languages and fully reach his entire audience. With the hashtag #AskPonitfex, the public could tweet questions to the pope regarding faith and belief.

During the summer of 2013, Prince George’s birth was greatly anticipated by many. The hashtag #RoyalBaby was used by people all around the world and was seen in more than two million tweets.

As any Twitter user knows, Ellen DeGeneres posted a photo of herself and 11 of her famous friends at the 2014 Oscars. With more than three million retweets in more than 151 countries, the post became the most retweeted tweet ever. Since she snapped and shared the photo during the live broadcast of the awards show, Ellen involved viewers by prompting them to retweet the post. Consequently, the drastic increase in traffic “broke” Twitter and the site was down for about 20 minutes.

The platform is used for more than just celebrity engagement, though. Following the horrific Paris attacks in late 2015, the world united in support of the victims and survivors with #PrayforParis. Over 70 million people passed on their prayers using the hashtag.

Earlier this year, when Leonardo DiCaprio was awarded his first Oscar, tweets reached 440,000 per minute, breaking Ellen’s previous record of about 250,000. Well-deserved and eagerly-awaited, his Oscar win was congratulated by thousands of his fans.

Many news outlets, including Daily News, E! Online and Wired, acknowledged Twitter’s 10th birthday by recounting the history of the site.

Happy Birthday, Twitter!


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