Seven years ago today the first tweet appeared on a then private social networking website. "Just setting up my twttr," Jack Dorsey, the co-founder of Twitter, tweeted on March 21, 2006. Since that day, or really since Twitter's official public launch on July 15, Twitter has exploded, changing the way we interact with people on the Internet and get short bursts of information.
O.K., so its not like your mom's or your best friend's birthday, but that doesn't mean you can't celebrate in your own selfish, tweeting way. In fact, we think Twitter's birthday is a great excuse to spend the day on Twitter. Here are seven things you can do today on Twitter.
1) Relive your best (and worst) tweets.
Some tweets are better than others. There are some you will want to cherish forever and others you will wish you could erase from your twistory (Yes, Twitter history). Either way, today is a good day to go through those old tweets with Twitter's newly introduced archive feature.
You see your old tweets by heading to the Settings menu on Twitter.com. On the bottom you will see a button to "Request your archive." Click on that and Twitter will then email you instructions on how to download your archive. The file sent by Twitter can be opened in your web browser. It's an offline file but you can still view those tweets on Twitter and share that link.
2) Make sure your Twitter account is looking good.
Over the past year Twitter has introduced a few new looks to your profile page. One of the biggest changes was the new header photo. If you haven't added one to your profile, today's a good time to do it. Pick out a nice image that you think really, truly represents you and upload it. You can add yours by hovering over your header photo on your profile page. Select the "edit" button and you will see the header photo field.
3) Clean up your follow list.
Make new friends but keep the old, one is silver and the other's gold. It's a nice saying, but it doesn't have to apply in the Twitterverse. Sometimes you follow people or organizations and you just don't remember why you started. This is a good time to clean up your following list; cut the accounts you don't want to follow anymore and don't look back. You can also look for some of your friends who you might not yet be following with Twitter's "Find Friends" feature.
4) Play around with some fun Twitter sites.
There's "When do you sleep?" (sleepingtime.org), which tells you your approximate sleeping schedule based on when you are active or not on Twitter. There's favstar (favstar.fm), which tells you your top tweets of all time. There's Twitamore (twitamore.com), which tells you who you love the most on Twitter. Visit those sites, input your username and have some fun.
5) Add a video to your tweet with Vine.
Vine is Twitter's newest service -- it allows you to add six-second videos to your Tweets. Get the iPhone app and create a fun video and tweet it out. Don't know what to make your first Vine about? We heard it's someone's birthday.
6) Teach someone how to use Twitter.
This one might seem a bit selfless, but have you ever tried to teach someone how to use Twitter? It can be hilarious, overwhelming and rewarding all at the same time. You know there is that person in your life that's been asking "What's that Twatter thing?" for months now. Tell them today what that thing is. It might be a good idea to follow our teaching tech tips though.
7) Tweet this article!
If you're spending the day on Twitter anyway, why not send a happy birthday tweet along with this article. Hey, you only get the chance to wish Twitter a happy birthday once a year. Oh, and don't forget the #twitter7 hashtag.