Twitter - Before X-es, It Was Tweets

Twitter(X) is one of the most popular social media platforms today. It is unique on its own as it is mainly short form tweets, yet one that makes us glued to the screen the entire day. Let's document Twitter here before the internet forgets it.

Ian Ng

9/26/20232 min read

blue and white bear illustration
blue and white bear illustration

Twitter Is One of a Kind In Social Media

Let's talk about Twitter, before it gets totally forgotten on the internet, as it is being replaced by 'X', the everything app.

Only one kind of Twitter exists, where you can just communicate in the form of bite-sized text, yet attract a whole bunch of people who share what you posted if they agree with you.

Twitter harbors the well-known symbols of the internet

Hashtags(#), @, rt, they all originated from Twitter. And surprisingly they were all born from the original limitations of a text-based social media platform.

OG users had no way of replying to others on a post, so they added @ to raise the person's attention.

Other than this, if a user saw a post they like and wanted to share it with others while crediting the original poster, they would start using RT followed by the post.

These user-based innovation led the team to come up with the functionalities to accommodate replies and retweets.

As Twitter grew, we are able to expand our horizons by just entering/looking for hashtags in the search tab to look for exciting posts from other users.

When people mention hashtags, rt, @, and more, they already know these belong to Twitter.

Timeline is Here As Well

As Facebook is the most prominent platform for timelines, Twitter users naturally would prefer scrolling through timeline to absorb all the information at once. This turned out great with Twitter.

Short tweets, more things to see on your timeline.

Aside from this, you can actually compile a list so that you have a separate timeline to check for curated content of the same kind.

Images, Videos, Spaces.

As smartphones become one of the most popular devices to view social media, users do want more ways to interact with content on twitter. On their mobile.

In the end, images, videos, spaces made their way to Twitter. Spaces enables followers to directly listen and connect with the speaker, and for the speaker to present his or her thoughts about a certain topics to followers in real time.

Verification of Authentic Accounts

At a certain point, as celebrities and popular figures start setting up their accounts on Twitter, the necessity to verify an account that actually belongs to said celeb become obvious.

Just about anyone can create a free account and just slap the same name to a profile to make a fake account of a famous figure. And there are swamps of bots on Twitter too.

And in comes the blue check mark which says that the account is the only authentic one verified by Twitter.

Since then Twitter has gone through a few tweaks with regards to check marks, and that tradition carried on to X.


In a way, Twitter showed us how a simple messaging app based on short form text, can evolve and be exciting as a form of social media too.

In a fast-moving world as today, where AI can instantly speed up processes and automate tasks for us under a few commands, Twitter is just one of those social media tools that gets to thrive in it.