The First Tweets from People You Follow on Twitter Were Mostly Terrible

It's rare that anyone gets anything right the first time. That appears to be especially true in the case of Twitter.

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It's rare that anyone gets anything right the first time. That appears to be especially true in the case of Twitter.

Twitter made dredging up the past a reality on Thursday by launching the First Tweet tool. To celebrate their eighth anniversary, Twitter set up; type in the name of any Twitter user to bring up their first 140 characters (or less). What you'll find: usually a statement of confusion, a banal update about doing laundry, or an admission of hypocrisy for sending the tweet after saying they never would. 

Twitter, which launched in 2006, now has more than 240 million users tweeting in 35 different languages, and 500 million tweets are sent every day. The first tweet ever published was from the company’s co-founder Jack Dorsey. On March 21, 2006, he tweeted, "Just setting up my twtr.” That was brilliant compared to others. Here are the questionable first tweets of our nation's finest.

Stoically Using Twitter for Political Purposes

While most of America's top political minds managed to discover Twitter before 2011 — notable exceptions are Hillary Clinton and Sen. Rand Paul — it's rare that their accounts will be used for anything other than toeing the line and espousing the agenda. The glorious exception to this came last year with Former Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown "butt-tweeted" and introduced "Bqhatevwr," the best blasé phrase of all time, into Internet lexicon. But for the most part, politicians started off fairly dull.

President Barack Obama

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul

Hillary Clinton

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie

Former Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown

Dr. Ben Carson (who is rather late to the Twitter game)

Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren

Nevada Sen. Harry Reid

New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand

Russian President Vladimir Putin (h/t @existentialfish)

Confusion Over This Newfangled Technology

When Twitter first launched, there was understandable confusion. It's like a Facebook status, but public. It can also be private, but it has to be short. Sen. Ted Cruz would later release the symbolic power of the hashtag to appeal to young voters at CPAC, showing that he finally understands how it all works.

Regis Philbin

The Stalwart, who started with an uninspired tweet despite being voted America's Best Twitter last week.

Dylan Sprouse, the self-proclaimed “child actor who didn’t do meth”

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz

Jamie Stelter (née Shupak)

Ann Coulter

Tame Introduction to Future Twitter Celebrities

It could be argued that Cher's most recent renaissance is largely due to her dedicated Twitter presence (and 2 million-plus followers), but her first tweet was nothing compared to what was to come.


Shameless Self-Promotion

No explanation necessary, but two of the finest examples.

Kanye West

James Franco

Share Your Feelings With the Group

Social media sometimes dupes us into over-sharing. We know this, and we try and avoid it.

Larry King

Joan Rivers

Shia LaBeouf

Twitter for Existential Crises

These first tweets weren't the first time celebrities would try — and fail — at sounding like a freshman philosophy student on Twitter.

Donnie Wahlberg

Kobe Bryant

Nate Silver, who was using his fox metaphor way back in 2008


Unbridled enthusiasm


A relatively late taker to Twitter, my first tweet was an average combination of current events and the weather, and revolves around the traveling 2012 Olympic torch, which passed through my hometown of Swindon, U.K., on a very rare sunny day, earning at 5/10.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.