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OldTweets acts as social time machine

OldTweets was launched this week, providing users with the opportunity to look back to the first year of social network Twitter, to see what early adopters were talking about. While this might seem like a very dry way to spend your time, it has some interesting aspects that are worth noting.

For one, it shows simply over the past six years since the site was launched, how the way people use it has changed. Some of the very first messages are by the developers themselves, discussing their work on improving certain features, while others are much more akin to what a lot of people do when they first join twitter – tell people what they’re doing at that moment. However back then hash-tagging wasn’t a thing, neither was the rampant name dropping that dominates Twitter today, leaving posts short and very bland.

Opie Anthony Old Tweet
At least early adopters listened to Opie and Anthony

It also reveals a very personal nature to the first tweets. In the same way that Facebook demand grew rapidly at the start because of its exclusivity, Twitter displays a similar type of cliquishness, with in-jokes and personal comments between users, in what would eventually become a very public forum. There’s also very little in the way of news reactions, something that Twitter has become synonymous with today.

KitGuru Says: In the same way that the way-back machine allows us to see the development of websites over the past decade or more, oldtweet provides a real insight into social interactions online and as it expands to cater to more than just the first year of Twitter, perhaps we’ll be able to map out interesting trends in the way people talk to one another and put themselves out there.

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