Monday, 28 Nov 2022

From Ed Balls to BTS: the greatest hits in Twitters history

From Ed Balls to BTS: the greatest hits in Twitters history


From Ed Balls to BTS: the greatest hits in Twitters history

Twitter has great influence for a social media platform. It has a comparatively modest 230 million users, given that the likes of Instagram, Facebook and TikTok have user bases that run into the billions. But Twitter is beloved of politicians, celebrities, commentators and journalists and can have a great impact on the political and news cycle as a result. Here are some of the best-known and notorious tweets in the company's 16-year history.

Jack Dorsey, Twitter's co-founder and former chief executive, sent the first tweet on 21 March 2006. A cryptocurrency entrepreneur paid $2.9m for a non-fungible token of the tweet last year, only to see it plunge in value.

In 2019 the Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa set a new record for the most heavily retweeted post in Twitter's history - at 3.7m - when he offered to give Â¥1m (£5,800) each to 100 followers who reposted his message.

The actor's family announced his death on Twitter in August 2020, thanking his followers for their "love and prayers" in a message that had nearly 1.9m retweets.

The former Tory prime minister's warning on the eve of the 2015 general election that voters faced "chaos with Ed Miliband", the then Labour leader, proved to be half-right in that it predicted bedlam. But under Cameron's leadership instead. He won, called the European Union referendum and things have been far from stable since. It is now regularly retweeted when the Tories, and the UK, are going through yet another crisis.

Ellen DeGeneres hosted the Oscars in 2014 and received 2.9m retweets for a celebrity-crammed selfie featuring, among others, Brad Pitt, Julia Roberts and Meryl Streep. At the time, it was the most retweeted post ever.

A niche one for UK Twitter users, but former Labour education secretary Ed Balls once accidentally tweeted his name while searching for references to himself on the platform. Ed Balls Day, marking the occasion of his slip-up on 28 April 2011, is celebrated by a group of devotees every year.

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