twitterIn preparation for its eighth anniversary, Twitter has launched a new website that allows users to take a look back at whatever they said in the first tweet they ever posted to the service.

Appropriately dubbed First Tweets, users can input a username, and get back the first Tweet they ever posted to the service. For the most part, it serves as a reminder that most of us were not all that eloquent the first time we posted after joining Twitter. (I posted about a bad grade I received on a Spanish assignment. In my defense, I was in high school.)

But after a wholly unscientific review of different first Tweets, a clear topic of conversation emerges: after joining Twitter, one of the first things people talk about is being on Twitter. After that, many first Tweets are a response to “What are you doing?” which is what Twitter asked users until 2009.

It’s also possible that we might not have called these 140-character updates “Tweets” at all. In the early days of Twitter, the company referred to all of the postings to its service as “Twitter updates.” It wasn’t until the launch of The Iconfactory’s Twitterrific client for the Mac that “tweet” became a part of the service’s parlance. According to a post by Twitterrific developer Craig Hockenberry, the updates were originally going to be called “twits,” but were changed to “Tweet” following a request from Twitter lead developer Blaine Cook.

After that change to the client, it still took Twitter several months to refer to the new term, and it took more than a year for the company to first use “tweet” without quotation marks around it. Until then, users of the service were “Twitter-ers” and they were “Twittering.”

Here’s a collection of first tweets from the GeekWire team:

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  • johnhcook

    Ha, I actually beat @ToddBishop to the bunch on an online service! Who says I am not the early adopter on team GeekWire? I just know how to pick the right services!

  • FrankCatalano

    I don’t think I’ve changed much. My first tweet, more than five years ago, pointed to a fact-based rant on my blog advising tech companies to stop undermining their own award competition entries (and it still holds true):

  • Timothy Ellis

    I wonder what percentage of first tweets contain the word “Twitter.” I bet it’s a fairly high number.

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