New York, March 21: It’s the ninth birthday of the tweeting birdie. The very first tweet came from co-founder Jack Dorsey on March 21, 2006. Since then, Twitter has now grown to more than 284 million users worldwide and expanding. Dorsey, then an undergraduate student at the New York University, introduced the idea of an individual using an SMS service to communicate with a small group. The project code name for the service was twttr.

The project took off on March 21, 2006, when Dorsey sent the first Twitter message: “just setting up my twttr”. “We came across the word ‘twitter’, and it was just perfect. The definition was ‘a short burst of inconsequential information’, and ‘chirps from birds’. And that’s exactly what the product was,” Dorsey has been quoted as saying in the context of the site’s name.

Breaking news has also been a large part of Twitter’s usage for some years now, with the 2008 news that the Mars Phoenix Lander had found ice on Mars being revealed by NASA via Twitter. The US Airways flight that was forced to make an emergency landing on the Hudson river in New York in 2009 was also first reported on Twitter, with images of passengers on life rafts being re-tweeted.

1. Dorsey sent the first Twitter message: “just setting up my twttr”.

2. Right away, you began giving us great ideas to help make Twitter better.

3. Twitter became a place for all kinds of voices, big and small.

4. Adding to our global community, world leaders also joined the conversation.

5. As people shared what was happening in the moment, the world watched breaking news unfold in real time.

6. Together, we followed those moments as they turned into movements.

7. Over the years, you’ve shared what you care about with people around the world.

8. And we continue to be captivated by what you create and Tweet every day.

9. We’re amazed at how far we’ve traveled together. #ThankYou for an incredible nine years.

The first suggestion for using a hashtag as a means of a creating a group conversation regarding a single event came in 2007 from a Twitter user Chris Messina. The concept of trending has since become the informal yardstick of relevance on social media. Most major events and even TV shows now come with their own hashtag, as organisers look to increase their online presence and get people talking and promoting their event.