Can you believe that Twitter turns seven years old today? It seems like just yesterday we were watching the 140-character microblogging service take its first steps, wondering what a "retweet" was, and who we should start "following". Now here we are, hundreds of millions of global users and billions of tweets later, celebrating seven years since tweet number one.
Twitter has certainly become a fixture in everyday life for many of us. Even if you don't use the site yourself, you'll regularly hear of it on news broadcasts, as journalists and viewers alike send in their opinions - and Twitter is often the first place you'll see breaking news stories. The service is also very popular among celebrities, who love using it to keep their armies of fans updated on their wherabouts and what they are doing.
Over the last seven years, we at GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS have seen a number of world record achievements set by Twitter and its users - and like candles on a birthday cake, we have seven of them to share with you on this special day:
The first tweet
Twitter's first message, or tweet, was posted by creator Jack Dorsey (@jack), seven years ago today on March 21 2006, at 9:50pm local time:
just setting up my twttr— Jack Dorsey (@jack) March 21, 2006
Interestingly, the URL for the tweet ends with "/status/20" - were there 19 test tweets before this first "official" one?
The first million followers
It was a little over three years until Twitter had it's first user with over one million followers. Actor Ashton Kutcher (@aplusk) narrowly beat rival CNN breaking news feed to the landmark 1,000,000th follower a little after 11pm local time on April 16, 2009.
The first TV show
Comedy series "$h*! My Dad Says" (pronounced "Bleep My Dad Says") premiered on 23 September 2010, based on the popular Twitter feed (link) by Justin Halpern. The sitcom follows the exploits of a struggling writer, who finally finds work publicising his father's politically incorrect rants - with veteran actor William Shatner playing the titular dad.
The fastest million followers
At the time of his infamous firing from sitcom "Two and a Half Men," actor Charlie Sheen (then the highest-paid actor on television, earning $1.25 million per episode) joined Twitter. After just 25 hours and 17 minutes, Sheen (@charliesheen) had reached one million followers, with a flurry of bizarre ravings including hashtags #tigerblood and #winning.
The most tweets per second
Per Twitter's own blog, the most tweets per second to date has been 25,088, on 9 December 2011. This was during a Japanese television screening of Hayao Miyazaki's "Laputa: Castle in the Sky," a popular Studio Ghibli anime film.
The most retweets in 24 hours
Upon re-election as President of the USA on 7 November 2012, Barack Obama (@BarackObama) tweeted:
Within 24 hours the post had been retweeted (passed on) more than 771,635 times, making it the most widespread social-networking message in this time frame.
The most followers
Most recently, Canadian pop-star Justin Bieber (@justinbieber) regained his title as the most followed user on Twitter, on 21 February 2013. On that day, he had 34,708,646 "Beliebers" compared to 34,334,676 followers for the - perhaps temporarily - ousted Twitter queen, Lady Gaga (@ladygaga). At the time of writing this post, Bieber now has more than 36,261,935 followers.
Finally, if you want to keep abreast of all the latest world record news, why not follow us on Twitter? You can catch us at @GWR.