Here are some of the greatest tweets of all time, showcasing such breadth and infused with wit, irony, surprise and serendipity.
Entertainment: Oprah Winfrey’s first tweet in 2009, and the speed with which she gained over a million followers, served as a tipping point for celebrities and foreshadowed the ability they now possess to reach millions of fans directly in 140 character bursts.
HI TWITTERS . THANK YOU FOR A WARM WELCOME. FEELING REALLY 21st CENTURY .— Oprah Winfrey (@Oprah) April 17, 2009
Maybe the best thing about Oprah’s tweet, though, was Shaq’s response — a friendly troll, if you will, and funny.
@oprah ur caps r on, btw— SHAQ (@SHAQ) April 17, 2009
Advertising: When power went out at the Superdome this year during Super Bowl XLVII, Oreo Cookie created a genius advertisement on the fly to go with the outage. They tweeted it out before the lights came back on in New Orleans.
The result was 16,000 retweets, 6,000 "favorites" and no end of Monday-morning media coverage. Not only was this well played and fast thinking but it was also great for Twitter, as it showcased the potential power of their stream as an advertising platform.
Power out? No problem. pic.twitter.com/dnQ7pOgC— Oreo Cookie (@Oreo) February 4, 2013
Networking: The one-to-many structure of Twitter enables serendipitous public interactions between people that, pre-Twitter, likely would have never crossed paths. This exchange between songwriter/rapper Drake and oil magnate T. Boone Pickens serves as the humbling and prototypical example.
The first billion is a helluva lot harder RT @Drake: The first million is the hardest.— T. Boone Pickens (@boonepickens) May 31, 2012
War Correspondence: Sohab Athar may not have realized it at the time, but he live-tweeted the Navy Seals' top-secret raid on Osama Bin Laden’s compound that resulted in the Al Qaeda leader’s death.
Helicopter hovering above Abbottabad at 1AM (is a rare event).— Sohaib Athar (@ReallyVirtual) May 1, 2011
Space: This exchange between William Shatner and Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield demonstrates just how far Twitter can travel. Commander Hadfield is tweeting from space and Shatner asks him:
@Cmdr_Hadfield Are you tweeting from space? MBB— William Shatner (@WilliamShatner) January 3, 2013
Commander Hadfield responds without missing a beat and alludes to Shatner’s own famous explorer, Star Trek’s Captain Kirk:
@WilliamShatner Yes, Standard Orbit, Captain. And we're detecting signs of life on the surface.— Chris Hadfield (@Cmdr_Hadfield) January 3, 2013
Here's a link to Kanye West tweets because his entire account is gold.