Today’s the fifth birthday of Twitter, a service that has fundamentally changed the way humans communicate on this planet. The power of Twitter to help foment revolution, change regimes and amplify insane celebrity voices is well documented by now. Living in San Francisco, the epicenter of much Internet innovation, I’ve been lucky to witness and participate in the rise (and fall) of dozens of Internet-based services.
At the end of 2006, I was working for a web video company called PodTech, along with my Geek Entertainment TV cofounder, Irina Slutsky. One of the shows I was tasked to produce was called LunchMeet, a web series where we interview founders of tech startups and get them to do a product demo for us. For episode 11, we visited Twitter’s first San Francisco office on December 1st, 2006. Twitter was barely a 9 month old toddler at the time. Jack Dorsey, Biz Stone and Evan Williams sat down with us for about 10 minutes to give us the history, vision and idea around Twitter. Jack then gave me an on camera demo (skip to 9:05) of what the product looked like back then. It’s pretty telling on a lot of levels. SMS and IM were very much an integral part of the platform, there were no rounded corners, the term ‘firehose’ didn’t exist and @Jack had a mere 90 followers at the time.
Enjoy the trip back in time and please excuse my amateur on-camera performance. I’ve always been more comfortable behind the camera. Happy birthday Twitter! –@ekai