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 first-tweet.com; 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
Thinking we're only one signature away from ending the war in Iraq. Learn more at http://www.barackobama.com— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) April 29, 2007
Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul
Here is a video of my inaugural statement: http://bit.ly/dHYJGG— Senator Rand Paul (@SenRandPaul) January 5, 2011
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie
Web site for Transition2010 just launched! Check it out here - http://nj.gov/transition2010/— Governor Christie (@GovChristie) November 17, 2009
Former Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown
Let's give Massachusetts' 3 million workers a payroll tax cut to get our economy moving. Read about my amendment: http://tinyurl.com/yfnk4n7— Scott Brown (@USSenScottBrown) March 3, 2010
Dr. Ben Carson (who is rather late to the Twitter game)
Today I've officially joined the twitterverse.— Dr. Ben Carson (@RealBenCarson) February 15, 2013
Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley
can't wait to get to Denver - it's going to be a really great week. keep checking back - many more updates to follow— Martin O'Malley (@GovernorOMalley) August 20, 2008
Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren
Launched exploratory committee for Senate. Look forward to talking about how we can build a stronger MA and nation.— Elizabeth Warren (@elizabethforma) August 19, 2011
Nevada Sen. Harry Reid
Big agenda in the Senate. Now you'll have one more way to follow our work for Nevada and U.S.— Senator Harry Reid (@SenatorReid) June 11, 2009
New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand
It's time for Republicans to stop playing politics with unemployment benefits. New post at HuffPo: http://bit.ly/2GDrPf— Kirsten Gillibrand (@SenGillibrand) October 19, 2009
Russian President Vladimir Putin (h/t @existentialfish)
Congratulations to US President-elect Barack Obama http://t.co/wi0upVQB— Vladimir Putin (@PutinRF_Eng) November 8, 2012
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.
Vote for Regis!!! Is that okay?— Regis Philbin (@regis) December 16, 2013
The Stalwart, who started with an uninspired tweet despite being voted America's Best Twitter last week.
So... yeah— Joseph Weisenthal (@TheStalwart) March 7, 2008
Dylan Sprouse, the self-proclaimed “child actor who didn’t do meth”
Texas Sen. Ted Cruz
Just joined Twitter. Trying to figure it out....— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) March 16, 2009
Jamie Stelter (née Shupak)
Setting up the Twitter.— Jamie Stelter (@JamieStelter) April 17, 2009
On twitter under alias until impostor is booted!— Ann Coulter (@AnnCoulter) September 28, 2010
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.
Hello Twitter!— Cher (@cher) May 5, 2010
No explanation necessary, but two of the finest examples.
NEW SONG AND VISUAL FROM MY NEW ALBUM BEING PROJECTED TONIGHT ACROSS THE GLOBE ON 66 BUILDINGS, LOCATIONS @ http://t.co/7BZwfPawwZ— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) May 18, 2013
Share Your Feelings With the Group
Social media sometimes dupes us into over-sharing. We know this, and we try and avoid it.
Baseball is back so the world is good again. I love all sports, but baseball is still our only national pass time.— Larry King (@kingsthings) April 6, 2009
Joan Rivers just got motor boated on Fashion Police....I think I'm going go vom 😷😖 #sowrong— Taylor-Paige YoPsst (@tayiobst) February 2, 2013
G4's -Sterling Gates review of "lets fucking party"- "it honestly blew me away- its a true pop culture artifact.".... http://t.co/rPTP6q3v— Shia LaBeouf (@thecampaignbook) March 8, 2012
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.
I'm in the building— Donnie Wahlberg (@DonnieWahlberg) March 16, 2009
The antisocial has become social #mambatweets— Kobe Bryant (@kobebryant) January 4, 2013
Nate Silver, who was using his fox metaphor way back in 2008
this is my twitter feed. the quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.— Nate Silver (@NateSilver538) August 27, 2008
BlackBerry still connect.— Mr. Carter (@_S_C) March 20, 2011
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.
Ridiculously excited for the Olympic Torch coming through Swindon today - I don't think it's ever been so beautiful here! #olympictorch— Lucy Westcott (@lvzwestcott) May 23, 2012
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.