I'm old enough that I used Twitter before it had @-replies or hashtags built in. I spent all of 2018 in TweetJail.


I used Twitter via TEXT MESSAGE for most of 2008-09.

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There wasn't an official Twitter app for a really long time. The bones of the current official app was something built by a third-party developer. I paid real actual money for it, and then Twitter bought the company.

I'm not sure why I'm saying all this.

I think it's because all the really good stuff in Twitter (@-replies, usable clients) was actually designed and built by users, not Twitter. Twitter, the company, didn't embrace those ideas until very late.

Mastodon and other fediverse remind me of that time, when good ideas could come from anywhere. It's the bottom-up experience that's been missing from the web for years.

@c0debabe It was huge! Ironically I went out and bought Twitteriffic almost immediately afterward.


We really are somewhere between BBS and Web 1.0

@TheGibson @maxeddy

But at least we have emojis and fewer "Under Construction" animations to deal with.

@ScottMortimer @TheGibson @maxeddy I’d take „under construction“ animations over JS eating a full CPU core and still not rendering 1kb Text any day

@maxeddy twitter's too big for its userbase now, unfortunately for the users, but fortunately because it gives a reason to switch to fedi

Twitter was good in the beginning, then Twitter the company wrecked themselves with promoted-content, non chronological timelines, content curation, unethical data hording practices, a top-down experience... the list goes on


Out of curiosity, were you already a journalist back then?

Ok, that's interesting. I've always thought of twitter as a tool for journos and people who wanted to be seen by journos (politicians, PR types, etc). Easier and quicker than keeping lists of phone numbers and/or email addresses.

@0 It's certainly become that, but there was a long period where EVERYONE was writing think-pieces about how Twitter was the ultimate egotism and crap like that. It was years before Twitter was normalized.

@maxeddy I never used Twitter via SMS, but I did briefly use it via Jabber during that time period.

@maxeddy I wonder if there's anybody still there in a tech role who remembers that they had that interface

@eqe Wow, that's a good question. The current CEO left and came back between that.

@maxeddy I got friends from college on it back then. We used it as a sorta group chat room before the modern smart phone era (I had a Palm Treo, but everyone else just had flip phones or the ones with the fold up keyboards). The old 140 char limit came from the limit of SMS (160 chars) which left 20 chars for commands and @ mentions.

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