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Twitter's birthday celebration of first tweets proves we're all bad at Twitter at first

Caitlin McGarry | March 21, 2014
Every person's first tweet was boring. That reminder might encourage new users to explore Twitter's potential.

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Twitter is getting nostalgic on its 8th birthday: The social network is inviting you to take a look at your first tweet--and then tweet about it. It's all very meta.

Twitter collected a few its favorite first tweets from high-profile folks like Oprah, Hillary Clinton, and of course its own Jack Dorsey.

To be honest, seeing your first tweet isn't as emotionally satisfying as watching your Facebook Look Back video. Most of us started out on Twitter with the written equivalent of a mic tap: "Hello? Is this thing on?"

But a visual reminder of our collective initial hesitance about Twitter might be reassuring for new-ish users, who have struggled to fully engage with the network. Twitter's "scaffolding," as CEO Dick Costolo has described the inside language early users have adopted, can be confusing and alienating to people who don't get the concept of at-replies or retweets. During the Newspaper Association of America's mediaXchange conference this week, Twitter news chief Vivian Schiller called such language "arcane" and said we can expect at-replies and hashtags to be moved "into the background" of Twitter.

Shareholders in the newly public Twitter want the company to move quickly to get more people to send their first tweets. The network's growth has stalled out, and Schiller's hints at changes in the pipeline indicate that Twitter may look very different than it did when you tweeted way back when.


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