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Celebrating 8 years of Twitter with 8 superlative tweets

Today is the anniversary of Twitter’s public launch. Nearly 4 months after founder Jack Dorsey sent out the first tweet, the site, then known as Twttr, launched to the public on July 15, 2006. Eight years later and the micro-blogging platform is still going strong. To celebrate this anniversary we’ve rounded up eight Twitter superlatives. Here are a few of the tweets (and accounts) that we felt earned a title in this past year.

1. Most Popular

An evening of handing out awards must have made 2014 Oscar host Ellen DeGeneres hunger for a victory of her own. She achieved it when the star-studded selfie she tweeted out mid-broadcast broke the record for the most retweets. The picture, in which DeGeneres is surrounded by Jared Leto, Jennifer Lawrence, Channing Tatum, Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, Kevin Spacey, Bradley Cooper, Brad Pitt, Lupita Nyong’o and her brother and Angelina Jolie, beat the record set by President Barack Obama when he tweeted an image of himself embracing his wife, with the text “Four More Years,” after winning re-election in 2012. Obama’s record was not the only thing broken, Twitter itself shut down briefly as a result of the traffic caused by this tweet.

2. Biggest Social Media Touchdown

With a 22-0 score by halftime, Super Bowl XLVIII did little to captivate audience attention. Sports fans turned instead to social media, where witty banter proved more engaging than the game. One of the most retweeted quips of the night came from former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. It’s hard to say whether she surprised followers more with her humor or with the revelation that she was actually watching the game.

3. Most Likely to Cross Party Lines

Former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords originally tweeted this picture last month. Her husband, retired astronaut Mark Kelly, was quick to retweet. While he supported his wife’s bipartisan methods, he also took the opportunity to remind the twitterverse that she is taken.

4. Class Clowns

David Cameron’s corded phone is out of date in this tweet from March 5th, but we’re guessing it is still has a better connection than Rob Delaney and Patrick Stewart’s alternatives. The comedians joined forces to mock Cameron’s ill-fated foreign policy selfie. The rest of Twitter soon joined in.


5. Most Out of this World Victory Tweet

Germans around the world celebrated when their country won the World Cup Sunday in a 1-0 victory over Argentina. One loyal fan was even celebrating from outer space. Astronaut Alexander Gerst tweeted this congratulatory photo from the International Space Station after the game. Earlier, he promised to dedicate 11 orbits of the Earth to the German team if they were victorious.

6. Biggest Blast from the Past

July 5 of this year marked the 25th anniversary of nothing. That is, the show about nothing that ushered in the sitcom’s golden age (Sorry “Friends”). The last episode of “Seinfeld” aired in 1998, almost ten years before Jack Dorsey published the first tweet. The world is left to wonder what hashtags the show might have launched (#serenitynow), but Twitter has weighed in on what antics Jerry, Elaine, George and Kramer might get into today.

7. Most Athletic

Thanks to Twitter and Instagram, the whole world was granted behind-the-scenes access to the 2014 Winter Olympics. One thing revealed in posts by athletes and journalists was the sub-par quality of Sochi’s accommodations. American bobsledder Johnny Quinn became trapped in his bathroom in the Olympic Village, then tweeted pictures of the wreckage after he punched his way out. Quinn credited his training with facilitating his escape.

8. Most Likely to Make History

When Gwen Ifill and Judy Woodruff were named NewsHour co-anchors back in 2013, it marked the first time a network broadcast had a female co-anchor team.

They ended their first show together with a well-deserved fist bump. Since then, the Gwen and Judy fist bump has been used to celebrate numerous other noteworthy occasions, like when @NewsHour hit 500,000 followers in April of this year.

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