Skip to main content

Twitter turns 10: the most popular tweet, emoji, and users of all time

It’s been ten years since Twitter started life as a fledgling social network with dreams of allowing everyone to instantly share their random musings. Since then the platform has added images, videos, emoji, and most recently GIFs, in an effort to help users express themselves in a whole manner of ways.

Meanwhile, we’ve been treated to some great Twitter moments, as the social network has made news, and hosted news. From Kanye West’s seemingly unstoppable Twitter rants to online feuds (‘Twitter fingers’ as Drake so accurately phrased the phenomenon) that have caused a long list of celebs to quit the platform, only to return.

Related Videos

As part of its tenth birthday celebrations, Twitter created the #LoveTwitter hashtag, encouraging users to tweet their appreciation for its service (it has already been used in over 1 million posts). The service has also been shouting out some of its own favorite users, including Justin Bieber, Lady Gaga, Tom Hanks, Vice President Joe Biden, and the company’s CEO, Jack Dorsey, who got things underway with the first-ever tweet back in 2006.

just setting up my twttr

— Jack (@jack) March 21, 2006

Thanks @FLOTUS for being the first "First Lady" on Twitter, and joining us on YOUR birthday in 2013. #LoveTwitter

— Twitter (@twitter) March 21, 2016

Thank you, @taylorswift13 for celebrating love and sharing your stage with us every day. #LoveTwitter

— Twitter (@twitter) March 21, 2016

Thanks, @TomHanks for using Twitter to help the world find its socks! #LoveTwitter

— Twitter (@twitter) March 21, 2016

Twitter also released a treasure trove of stats to remind everyone of just how popular the site is.

Despite some tough competition from the members of One Direction, the most retweeted tweet remains Ellen Degeneres’ Oscar selfie from the ceremony she hosted in 2014. With a legion of Hollywood a-listers photobombing the image (including Brad Pitt, Jennifer Lawrence, and Kevin Spacey) the post was retweeted 3.3 million times.

If only Bradley's arm was longer. Best photo ever. #oscars

— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) March 3, 2014

The most followed person on Twitter is pop star Katy Perry, who currently boasts close to 85 million followers. Although rival network Instagram is dominated by her fellow singers Selena Gomez and Taylor Swift, Perry has amassed a devoted following on Twitter. The most mentioned person is also a pop star, namely Justin Bieber, who is currently the second most-popular user on the platform with over 77 million followers.

In regards to the general users that help make up its 320-million-strong user base, the service revealed that everyone’s favorite emoji is the tears of joy face, which has been shared a whopping 14.5 billion times. Yes, we all love laughing till we cry, perhaps in reaction to all the Twitter fails we have stood witness to over the last ten years.

Additionally, the most geotagged city is São Paulo, Brazil, and the word “love” has been mentioned 34.8 billion times. Alas, exaggerated online feuds aside, we’re all really just about the good vibes. As the celebrations show, a happy tenth birthday for Twitter is as much a pat on the back for the people that help make it such an essential part of our Web culture. Long may you tweet.

Editors' Recommendations

Twitter begins rollout of new gray check marks only to abruptly remove them
Elon Musk.

In the middle of writing an article about Twitter's initial rollout of a new gray check mark verification badge, we noticed something odd: Twitter accounts that had the new gray check marks only minutes earlier were suddenly without them again. So what happened?

Elon Musk apparently happened. Mere hours after his newly purchased social media platform began its rollout of a new gray check mark in an effort to help clarify which high-profile accounts were actually verified, the new gray check marks began disappearing from various accounts, evidently at Musk's behest. Just take a look at this tweet conversation between web video producer Marques Brownlee and Musk:

Read more
Some blue check Twitter users were unable to edit their names
Twitter app on the OnePlus 10T.

Twitter's recent blue check verification drama took an even sillier turn yesterday. Amid all the recent commotion regarding Twitter Blue subscriptions, paying for blue checks, and impersonation versus parody, some Twitter users temporarily lost their ability to edit their screen names.

On Monday evening, some verified Twitter users began reporting that they couldn't change their screen names. It's unclear to us at this time if the issue these users were experiencing was a bug or a new feature of a platform that was recently purchased by Tesla CEO Elon Musk.

Read more
Mastodon surpasses 1 million monthly active users as Twitter backlash worsens
Series of four mobile screenshots showing Mastodon's sign-up process.

Mastodon, an alternative to Twitter that's been getting a lot of attention lately, just surpassed 1 million monthly active users this week, all while Twitter struggles to deal with the  backlash caused by recently announced changes to its platform.

On Monday, Eugen Rochko, founder and CEO of Mastodon, announced via a Mastodon post that the social media platform now has "1,028,362 monthly active users across the network today." This news comes after a particularly tumultuous week (and weekend) for Twitter after Elon Musk took over the popular microblogging platform just last month.

Read more