21st March 2016 marked exactly ten years since the first ever Tweet was sent. Since then, around 6,000 tweets are tweeted every second, which corresponds to over 350,000 tweets sent per minute, 500 million tweets per day and around 200 billion tweets per year (source: www.internetlivestats.com/twitter-statistics/).
Twitter is a platform for people to share their thoughts, albeit in 140 characters. Being able to watch news stories or trending topics unfold in real-time appeals to the masses who demand immediate access to content, and Twitter allows individuals to actively engage with happenings from across the globe.
As a tribute to the power of Twitter, we’ve listed some of our favourite moments that the social media giant has spawned.
During the 2015 UK general election, 18 year old Abby Tomlinson created the hashtag #Milifandom after she felt the then Labour leader Ed Miliband was not getting fairly treated by the press. The hashtag became the number one Twitter trend in the UK. Abby says: “The next day, a couple more news organisation got in touch and wrote articles and I started doing interviews. Then a couple of weeks later, Ed rang me up to thank me.
“I would say Twitter changed my life in a way because it helped me decide what I wanted to do. I was always interested in politics and I’ve always enjoyed writing, but this gave me a chance to write for prestigious media outlets.”
2. I do
When American Greg Rewis was thinking of an unusual way to propose to his then girlfriend Stephanie, he decided to tweet her. It was the first ever marriage proposal on Twitter. Greg said: “It was quite a shock when I found out that this was the first proposal on Twitter. Had we known it was the first time, we would have made it more impressive. I would have planned everything way better.” It’s not everyone’s idea of romance, but ground breaking nonetheless.
3. TV and Twitter
Comedy Central was the first TV station to put a hashtag live on TV. The #TrumpRoast overlay prompted more than 27,000 mentions on Twitter, and drove record ratings for Comedy Central. It’s now custom for TV stations to encourage viewers to follow and engage with a hashtag, adding another dimension to audience engagement.
4. Ice Ice Baby
When ice was found on Mars, how did the news break to the world? By the Twitter account of the Mars Phoenix Lander. This was the first instance of Tweeting from another planet. During the Lander’s five-month stint on the red planet, NASA posted 605 entries on Twitter to almost 40,000 people who followed its updates:
Eventually, Mars Phoenix Lander stopped communicating because of a lack of sunlight that’s needed to power its batteries. Its last Tweet brings a tear to the eye: “Take care of that beautiful blue marble out there in space, our home planet. I’ll be keeping an eye from here.” RIP.
5. Twitter brings the world closer together
On March 11 2011, a massive 8.9 magnitude earthquake hit off the coast of northeast Japan. Initially, Twitter served as a way to get breaking information from a variety of official and unofficial sources. As the scale of catastrophe became apparent, Twitter became a place to raise funds for the recovery effort and for users to express their thoughts and condolences for the victims.
Twitter has proved that it is possible to make a real difference with 140 characters. For that one day, 11th March, 66% of the news links on Twitter were about the Japanese earthquake and tsunami and key influencers on Twitter helped to help build momentum for fundraising efforts.
Since Twitter has born, it has launched a range of valuable tools from Twitter Moments to Periscope. As communicators, we embrace all means and methods of communication for our clients and look forward to the next big thing from Twitter. If you want to harness the power of Twitter to promote your brand, get in touch with Jaime@jampr.co.uk.
Happy birthday, Twitter! Here’s to the next 10 years.