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Hashtags, tweets and retweets: Twitter celebrates nine years

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(CNN) — What on Earth did we do with ourselves before Twitter? It may be a challenge to remember, as the social media giant celebrates its ninth anniversary.

This is where it all began, when co-founder Jack Dorsey got the ball rolling with his first “Twttr” post, as it was called back then.

A-list celebrities soon flew the nest and into the dawn of a new digital age.

And began to teach rules of etiquette too.

Because you never know which noble peers you might be in the company of.

Even high profile organizations made their presence felt.

And it’s the place to get the best gossip in town.

As well as a source of breaking news, as it happens, such as the impromptu live-tweeting of the raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound in Pakistan.

Another historical moment included in Twitter’s round up of the top ten tweets of all time was U.S. President’s Barack Obama’s expression of triumph after winning his second term. His post was the most retweeted in history.

Crossing the most distant boundaries, we also witnessed the first Vine from the cosmos.

And we learned from NASA’s Phoenix Mars lander that there is ice on the Red Planet.

There is one problem, however. When you get it wrong, the whole world quickly hears about it. Argentinian President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner faced a backlash after mocking the Chinese in a tweet, replacing the letter “r” with the letter “l.”

But she was also quick to apologize. “Sorry. You know what? It’s just that things are so excessively ridiculous and absurd. They can only be digested with humor. …” she added, a minute later.

Retweets and mentions have become seamless additions to our vocabulary. And all hail the hashtag, which was born out of a simple call out.

What used to be just a pound sign has evolved into a tool of protest and solidarity, with far reaching campaigns such as #BringBackOurGirls and #illridewithyou.

In true Twitter style, the platform’s gratitude for its 288 million monthly users was brief, but poignant.

“As for us, we will continue to thank you and celebrate you in the coming years as you use Twitter to reflect both the world at large and the world immediately around you.”

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