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Nine years and counting

By @gabrielstricker

At our nine-year mark, we continue to say that Twitter is what it is because of the people who use it. After all, it’s because of you that we have product features like hashtags and best practices like live-Tweeting. Today, these are deeply rooted elements of Twitter and part of mainstream cultural vernacular.

With our thanks to you, today we look back at some of the landmark moments you’ve created – moments that define our history, and perhaps yours.

A history of Twitter through Tweets

Co-founder Jack Dorsey Tweeted first, when the service was called “Twttr.”

Early user Chris Messina proposed the use of a hashtag to denote people at the same live event.

When the Mars Phoenix Lander found ice on Mars, NASA used Twitter to break the news.

Early user Janis Krums happened to be on a ferry when a plane went down in the Hudson River.

In a royal first, Clarence House, the Prince of Wales’ private office, created a Twitter account to announce Prince William’s engagement to Kate Middleton.

Up late one night, Sohaib Athar inadvertently live-tweeted the raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound in Pakistan.

Before he appeared publicly to affirm his second presidential win, President Obama noted it on Twitter. And within hours it became the most retweeted for the year.

Two bombs shook the Boston Marathon – and the world. As news of the blasts and the manhunt spread, Twitter became crucial for journalists, police and citizens alike.

Twitter as the perfect companion to TV is evidenced by the most retweeted Tweet to date: @TheEllenShow’s starry Oscars photo.

As news broke about the attack at the offices of French magazine Charlie Hebdo people everywhere turned to Twitter. @JoachimRoncin’s Tweet soon became a rallying cry for free speech.

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.