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Happy 10th Birthday, Twitter

  • VOA News

FILE - A portrait of the Twitter logo in Ventura, California.

FILE - A portrait of the Twitter logo in Ventura, California.

Twitter is 10 years old.

In that relatively short amount of time, the microblogging service has become a key way many people communicate whether it be political activists, journalists, celebrities or simply teenagers posting pictures of their food.

Some of the biggest events of the past 10 years broke on Twitter.

In January of 2009, when a US Air flight had to make an emergency landing in the Hudson River, someone from the scene posted an iconic photo.

In 2011, a Pakistani man inadvertently tweeted about the that eventually killed Osama Bin Laden.

U.S. President Barack Obama marked his re-election in 2012 with a tweet of "four more years" and a photo of him hugging his wife Michelle. It almost immediately became the most retweeted Twitter remark at the time.

Even the Pope is on Twitter, having joined in 2012.

But while the social media company boasts over 320 million active users, the birthday comes amid questions about the company’s future.

For example, despite being popular among celebrities, politicians and companies, it has yet to find a way to make money.

It has also come under fire for being slow to police hate speech.

The problems spurred its founder, Jack Dorsey, to return to the company to try to engineer a turnaround.

One early idea floated was to do away with Twitter’s iconic 140-character limit, but Dorsey said earlier this month that the limit would stand.

The company has made some cosmetic and functional changes to the product. For example, it added “moments” which it says will allow users to more easily find tweets, and it changed the “favorite” icon from a star to a heart.

“We’re not going to be shy about building more utility and power into Twitter for people,” Dorsey tweeted recently.