Twitter’s 10th Birthday

On the 10th birthday of Twitter, their Australian MD Karen Stocks explains how live communication continues to drive its use.

Ten years ago today, Twitter chief Jack Dorsey sent the very first tweet on the platform:

On the 10th anniversary of that initial test message, Twitter has made a point of thanking both its users and supporters for building the platform into one of the world’s best-known media platforms. Twitter Australia MD Karen Stocks believes that the strength of Twitter comes down to the simple question at the core of the service: “What’s going on?”

Stocks explained, “Over the years, more and more people answer that question. Because of the humour, community, and user participation on the platform, Twitter today is our live connection to culture. It can tell you 10 minutes faster than any other media about what is happening in the world now, whether that’s global, whether that’s from a country perspective, or whether it’s in your local suburb.”

Since the launch of Twitter a decade ago, Twitter has established regional offices across the globe, including one in Australia overseen by Stocks. This regional rollout, Stocks said, is important to the impact that Twitter is able to maintain in each region as it assists in amplifying the specific tone and interest in each territory.

“Australians are unique. We have a unique culture in Australia, so it’s important that the content on the platform reflects that. By having an office in Australia, we can work with all those Australian businesses to bring that great content together to make sure that the user experience is the best possible one on the platform,” Stocks said.

One of those unique quirks of Australian interests: We love talking about politics.

“Who would have thought that we were a country so interested in politics?” asked Stocks. “#auspol is one of the most popular hashtags in Australia. It’s been trending for about three years globally. It was first used in 2010. It’s like a public debating chamber where people can start talking about what’s happening in politics at the moment.”


Recently the short messaging social media platform launched its new product, Moments. Built to retain casual users on the platform, Moments are curated collections of tweets that provide greater insight on a specific topic. This morning, Twitter Australia rolled out its very first sponsored Moment with NAB.

The idea of sponsoring content on third-party platforms is not a new idea, with brands regularly sponsoring content on websites like Buzzfeed and Junkee. Using Twitter is similar conceptually, but with an added layer of social engagement to the message.

“The beauty about the platform on Twitter is because it is socially interactive,” Stocks said. “People can comment, they can forward it, they can share. You have the public, live conversational aspects around what is happening in the moment and around that live connection. Depending what story a brand has to tell, if you want to connect with what’s happening, what is the pulse of how that is happening in Australia, that’s where you will use a promoted Moment.”

Live and immediate conversation continues beating at the heart of Twitter, 10 years in. According to Stocks, that isn’t set to change any time soon. The future, said Stocks, is in maintaining the real-time connection that its users have to the culture that surrounds them.

“We will continue to look at other ways of making sure that it’s relevant and timely and people can access that live, real-time information that’s relevant to them,” she said.

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