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10 Things You'd Probably Forgotten About The Early Days Of Twitter

Twitter has come a long way since it launched. It doesn't fall down all the time for a start.

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Twitter's IPO launched yesterday in New York, with investor enthusiasm sending the share price way above the guide price of $26 at around $45. That means it's worth about $24 billion - despite analysts expecting it will only make its first profit in 2015.

But it hasn't been a smooth path since its launch.

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This, from Twitter founder Jack Dorsey, is the first ever tweet.

Jack Dorsey

@jack

just setting up my twttr

/ Via

But it took a long time to get any more interesting. A lot of early tweets were like this.

Jack Dorsey

@jack

sleep

/ Via

People were very keen to let you know what they were eating, a tradition that continues to this day.

waiting for dinner - smells good

Biz Stone

@biz

waiting for dinner - smells good

/ Via

Yeah, it was kind of hard to predict this would later help topple oppressive regimes.

after yoga bubble tea. Quickly!

Jack Dorsey

@jack

after yoga bubble tea. Quickly!

/ Via

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@replies didn't become an official feature (linked to people's usernames) until 2008. However, Twitter users had already started using @ to mention someone or to talk to them directly.

3. There were so few people tweeting you usually spotted your name being mentioned without the need for the @.

Jon - just wait until you find out all the neat tricks (comping and otherwise) in Photoshop :P I'm up for a vid chat sometime if you like...

Dan Rubin

@danrubin

Jon - just wait until you find out all the neat tricks (comping and otherwise) in Photoshop :P I'm up for a vid chat sometime if you like...

/ Via

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As with every web startup, Twitter had its early hiccups and throughout 2007 and 2008 users came to expect the occasional arrival of the Fail Whale. During 2007, there were nearly six full days of downtime as its data centre struggled to cope with some very fast growth.

When the site goes down these days, it's quite a big deal.

Pub quiz fact: The whale image was created by Yiying Lu as a greeting card for friends.

Journalists and media people use Twitter almost as second nature now, but it took a long time for people to stop saying, "Isn't it just a waste of time?"

Then it started to become a key part of the news ecosystem.

Mumbai terrorists are asking Hotel Reception for room #s of American citizens and holding them hostage on one floor

dupree

@dupree_

Mumbai terrorists are asking Hotel Reception for room #s of American citizens and holding them hostage on one floor

/ Via

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9. You can't move for them now, but early on there were HARDLY ANY celebrities on Twitter.

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Then, on they came.

Jonathan Ross

@wossy

Getting to know twitter

/ Via

One by one.

Hello Twitterers. I'm About to fly to Africa for a new project and will be tweeting whilst I'm filming.

Stephen Fry

@stephenfry

Hello Twitterers. I'm About to fly to Africa for a new project and will be tweeting whilst I'm filming.

/ Via

Wondering why I'm eating weight watchers chocolate.... I'm not fat!

Phillip Schofield

@Schofe

Wondering why I'm eating weight watchers chocolate.... I'm not fat!

/ Via

10. It felt like you knew everyone.

When, in 2008, for some unknown reason, everyone decided to change their profile pictures to cartoon characters, there were so few people tweeting at the time that it was like a little community event.

On one day in August 2013, there was a peak of 143,000 tweets per second.

So long live Twitter, in the new publicly traded, megabucks chapter of its flighty existence. It's still without any profits but our world would fall apart without it. To Twitter we say:

Every. Tasty. Video. EVER. The new Tasty app is here!

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