The hashtag #Twitter7 is trending today to celebrate the micro-blogging service's birthday. We take a look at the impact that a mere 140 characters from Twitter has had on the world.
Tweet A Little Tweet
A Twitter blog post is up celebrating the service's seventh birthday and its place in our everyday lives, with a video of some of the highlights from its 200 million active users. While previous generations turned to the radio for their news, then CNN and then "the web", now it seems the world turns to Twitter whenever anything major is happening.
As the video shows, from the Miracle on the Hudson to big political and sporting events, Twitter is the place to turn for the instant reaction and on-the-ground updates. Even the main news stations seem to rely massively on Twitter when something is going down.
But at the smallest scale, the service has an impact too. Knowing that the Higgs Boson is almost certainly there, that a friend got home okay, knowing that yet another cloud service has gone down again and you're not alone, Twitter (expect when it is down) helps reassure us and guide users through these moments.
Your Favorite Tweet?
Personally, I enjoy the tweets "from" the Voyager 1 spacecraft as it approaches the edge of our solar system, 17-light hours distant and those from our local police patrol, letting neighbors know all is well, or where to avoid. Such colossal and then personal issues all mixed up in the timeline make Twitter so compelling.
And while its easy to overstate Twitter's ultimate importance (there are still many other ways to get a message out), and its reliance on celebrities with their sickly promoted tweets, it is now a hard and fast part of many lives, providing a service that can help save and improve lives. Who would have thought that just a few years back?
So, in honor of the day, what was your favorite tweet, or tweeter that's helped or made a difference to your life? Either in a day-to-day or an oh-my-God-that's-big way.