Twittering! The First Tweets of 21 Tech Titans

In honor of Twitter's 8th birthday, relive the first time some of the best-known names in technology tried tweeting.

Picture of a bunch of buttons with Twitter insignia on them in a bird's nest

Last Friday, March 21st, officially marked the 8th anniversary of the world's first tweet, by Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey. Since then, of course, millions of people have used the service to send billions of tweets about, seemingly, trillions of things. Most of the well-known movers and shakers in the technology world eventually took to Twitter just like everybody else, some with more gusto than others. In honor of Twitter's eighth birthday, ITworld has used a new tool released by the company last week to rediscover the first tweets of 21 famous people from the technology world, to see how they introduced themselves to Twitter, and how (and how much) they've used it since.

Screenshot of Marc Andreessen's first tweet from May 10, 2007 which said \Twittering!\
Marc Andreessen

The well-known venture capitalist and the man who helped create the first popular web browser, Mosaic, tweets quite often about a range of topics, from technology to business to gaming.

Twitter handle: @pmarca

Twitter bio: FOR creators & contributors to technology, science, art, ideas, a better world. [Unfortunately I can't accept business plans or other requests via Twitter!]

Followers: 88K

Average tweets per day: 4

More recent tweet (March 23, 2014): Corollary: Giving your credit card info to online merchant in 2014 is data equivalent of unprotected sex. For the love of God, please stop.

Screenshot of Kim Dotcom's first tweet from June 18, 2012 which said \This is Kim Dotcom. Follow me for direct updates about Mega, my upcoming album and personal website and what's going on in my crazy life :-)\
Kim Dotcom

The famous Internet entrepreneur and personality joined Twitter relatively late (in 2012) but has made up for it by tweeting prolifically since then about his businesses, his family and his ongoing legal battles against charges of copyright infringement - which prosecutors don't appreciate.

Twitter handle: @KimDotcom

Twitter bio: Entrepreneur - Innovator - Gamer - Artist - Fighter - Father of 5 and Husband

Followers: 354K

Average tweets per day: 12

More recent tweet (March 18, 2014): Accidentally ate two multivitamins today and now I am immortal.

Screenshot of Steve Ballmer's first tweet from April 18, 2009 which said \Russia here we go\
Steve Ballmer

Microsoft's former CEO was famously animated when on stage, but has been relatively subdued on Twitter. He's only tweeted 16 times in total, not at all since 2012 and only reluctantly revealed that he was even on Twitter.

Twitter handle: @stevebmicrosoft

Twitter bio: (none)

Followers: 3,637

Average tweets per day: Less than 1

More recent tweet (April 19, 2012): Great energy at breakfast at #nvtc

Screen shot of Jack Dorsey's first tweet from March 21, 2006 which says \just setting up my twttr\
Jack Dorsey

Twitter co-founder, and current Square CEO, Jack Dorsey famously sent the very first tweet on March 21, 2006 and since then, continues to use Twitter to regularly share what he's doing in under 140 characters.

Twitter handle: @jack

Twitter bio: Twitter, Square

Followers: 2.6 million

Average tweets per day: 5

More recent tweet (March 21, 2014): 8 years of seeing and sharing the world around us through tweets! What are you seeing right now?

Screenshot of the first (and only) tweet from Larry Ellison on June 6, 2012 which said \Oracle's got 100+ enterprise applications live in the #cloud today, SAP's got nothin' but SuccessFactors until 2020\
Larry Ellison

Oracle's famously feisty co-founder and CEO has tweeted only once and, not surprisingly, he used the opportunity to take a shot at a competitor

Twitter handle: @larryellison

Twitter bio: oracle.com

Followers: 45K

Average tweets per day: Less than 1

More recent tweet: (none)

Screen of Steve Wozniak's first tweet from March 7, 2009 which said \Rare massage (for me), then dance practice. No pain, no gain. Awkward but fun, this dancing. I still can't do Macarena\
Steve Wozniak

The Apple co-founder is a regular tweeter, often sharing information about his dancing, work, travels and what he's been eating.

Twitter handle: @stevewoz

Twitter bio: Engineers first! Human rights. Gadgets. Jokes and pranks. Segways. Music and concerts. Gameboy Tetris.

Followers: 231K

Average tweets per day: 2

More recent tweet (March 20, 2014): Lemon pepper salmon is tonight's special. I will be making a major confession to Janet. (@ Marie Callender's) http://4sq.com/1nHW4Ce

Screenshot of Dick Costolo's first tweet from May 28, 2007 which said \Dick costolo\
Dick Costolo

Dick Costolo's inaugural tweet suggests he didn't quite get the service at first, but that didn't stop him from eventually becoming Twitter's CEO. These days, most of his tweets are replies to other people, but, occasionally, the former stand-up comic lets his sense of humor show through.

Twitter handle: @dickc

Twitter bio: CEO at Twitter

Followers: 1.2 million

Average tweets per day: 3

More recent tweet (February 22, 2014): Plan: run 12 miles Reality: run 3.5 miles, re-injure calf, hobble back, buy and eat a chocolate croissant as big as your head. So close.

Screenshot of Sheryl Sandberg's first tweet from March 22, 2009 which said \enjoying a house where everyone else is sleeping\
Sheryl Sandberg

Though her first tweet was in 2009, Facebook's COO has only tweeted 16 times since, and most came in 2013 in relation to her book, Lean In.

Twitter handle: @sherylsandberg

Twitter bio: Facebook, mother of 2, wife of awesome guy, friend to many great women

Followers: 126K

Average tweets per day: Less than 1

Most recent tweet (March 11, 2013): With @KatieCouric katieshow talking about how to ask for a raise and negotiating #leaningin http://instagr.am/p/WuNGwFFrYz/

Screenshot of Elon Musk's first tweet from June 4, 2010 which said \Please ignore prior tweets, as that was someone pretending to be me :)  This is actually me.\
Elon Musk

The man who co-founded PayPal doesn't tweet all that much, but when he does it's usually to share something related to the two other companies he helped to found and leads as CEO, SpaceX and Tesla Motors.

Twitter handle: @elonmusk

Twitter bio: Tesla, SpaceX, SolarCity & PayPal

Followers: 585K

Average tweets per day: Less than 1

More recent tweet (February 9, 2014): Saw The Lego Movie earlier today. Brilliant writing and humor! Loved the "Everything is awesome..." theme song.

Screenshot of Mark Zuckerberg's first tweet from February 13, 2009 which said \@ooontz I knew you'd be under ditka\
Mark Zuckerberg

Facebook's co-founder and CEO is not much of a tweeter; having only tweeted 19 times in total, and not at all since early in 2012.

Twitter handle: @finkd

Twitter bio: (none)

Followers: 302K

Average tweets per day: Less than 1

Most recent tweet (January 18, 2012): Tell your congressmen you want them to be pro-internet. My Facebook post is here: https://www.facebook.com/zuck/posts/10100210345757211 …

Screenshot of Marc Benioff's first tweet from February 28, 2009 which said \Learning about twitter\
Marc Benioff

The founder, chairman and CEO of salesforce.com tweets quite often, and usually about his business, something interesting he's read or to respond to a salesforce.com user who's having a problem with the service.

Twitter handle: @Benioff

Twitter bio: Ceo@salesforce.com

Followers: 95K

Average tweets per day: 2

More recent tweet (March 12, 2014): My grandfather Marvin Lewis came up with the idea for SF Monorail February 18 1954 that became BART. Just found this. pic.twitter.com/Nia2LGIzWa

Screenshot of John McAfee's first tweet from November 22, 2012 which said \Evidience vs Paranoia http://www.whoismcafee.com/evidience-vs-paranoia/ …\
John McAfee

Even though the famous creator of the McAfee anti-virus software is no longer associated with the company that bears his name, he uses Twitter to comment regularly about security issues and occasionally about the country where he had some legal troubles.

Twitter handle: @officialmcafee

Twitter bio: Eccentric Millionaire & Still Alive

Followers: 18K

Average tweets per day: 1

More recent tweet (December 31, 2013): In #2014 I resolve not to touch guns,women or bathsalts & only play jokes on journalists who can appreciate humor http://youtu.be/2QzwsCsmrhs

Screenshot of the Marissa Mayer's first tweet from July 20, 2009 which said \Discovered the American Visionary Arts Museum in Baltimore -- extremely cool in terms of art and its philosophies (http://www.avam.org/)\
Marissa Mayer

The Yahoo president and CEO's very first tweet turned out to be somewhat of an anomaly; since then she has rarely tweeted about anything but work.

Twitter handle: @marissamayer

Twitter bio: @ Yahoo!

Followers: 548K

Average tweets per day: Less than 1

More recent tweet (November 25, 2013): Very excited to welcome Katie Couric to @Yahoo! Anchors... http://tmblr.co/Z4v08s-PSBGY

Screenshot of David Karp's first tweet from June 17, 2008 which said \@johnborthwick just guilt tripped me into updating my Twitter.  I hope you're happy, John...\
David Karp

Tumblr's founder and CEO doesn't tweet much but, when he does, he often tweets out links to - surprise - Tumblr

Twitter handle: @davidkarp

Twitter bio: (none)

Followers: 37K

Average tweets per day: 1

More recent tweet (February 8, 2014): These updates to Flappy Bird are dope.

Screenshot of Kevin Systrom's first tweet from June 29, 2006 which said \just setting up my twttr\
Kevin Systrom

The co-founder and CEO of Instagram was an intern at Odeo when Jack Dorsey and others at that company created Twitter, which explains why his first tweet was the same as the first tweets from Twitter's founders, Dorey, Biz Stone and Evan Williams. These days, his infrequent tweets are usually Instagram-related.

Twitter handle: @kevin

Twitter bio: ceo & cofounder at instagram

Followers: 60K

Average tweets per day: Less than 1

More recent tweet (April 2, 2012): Spent this entire weekend paying for food and trains with my phone and card. Cash and coins are starting to feel old fashioned.

Screenshot of Tim Berners-Lee's first tweet from October 22, 2009 which said \Ooops confusing user interfxce.   And no phones on on stage with radiomikes.\
Tim Berners-Lee

If it weren't for Tim Berners-Lee, the man who invented the World Wide Web, there probably wouldn't be a Twitter in the first place. So, it's appropriate that he uses Twitter to share information about his work and technology-related issues.

Twitter handle: @timberners_lee

Twitter bio: Director of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) w3.org, the place to agree on web standards. Founded webfoundation.org - let the web serve humanity

Followers: 165K

Average tweets per day: Less than 1

More recent tweet (March 12, 2014): I invented the WWW 25 years ago and I am concerned and excited about its future. Reddit AMA at 3pm Eastern. http://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comment... 

Screenshot of Eric Schmidt's first tweet from December 7, 2009 which said \CNN GPS with Fareed Zakaria on Nov 29th, starts around minute 17; Fareed is a very good interviewer   http://bit.ly/6GwGjn\
Eric Schmidt

Google's executive chairman and former CEO tweets only occasionally and mainly about technology.

Twitter handle: @ericschmidt

Twitter bio: Executive Chairman & former CEO

Followers: 784K

Average tweets per day: Less than 1

More recent tweet (March 17, 2014): “The mind, once stretched by a new idea, never returns to its original dimensions.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Screenshot of Sergey Brin's first tweet, from June 24, 2009, which said \Exploiting HTML 5 on mobile phones is going to be really and I mean really important\
Sergey Brin

The Google co-founder isn't much of a tweeter, having tweeted only 7 times in total, and not at all in over three years.

Twitter handle: @sergeybrinn

Twitter bio: (none)

Followers: 16K

Average tweets per day: Less than 1

Most recent tweet (January 21, 2010):  Haiti relief mission http://bit.ly/4PWMZH . They need as much help as they can get.

Screenshot of Bill Gates' first tweet, from January 19, 2010, which said \\Hello World.\   Hard at work on my foundation letter - publishing on 1/25.\
Bill Gates

The Microsoft co-founder tweets regularly about things related to Microsoft and his philanthropic work, with an occasional insight into his personal life.

Twitter handle: @BillGates

Twitter Bio: Sharing things I'm learning through my foundation work and other interests...

Followers: 15 million

Average tweets per day: Less than 1

More recent tweet (February 10, 2014) .@reddit, I definitely would grab a $100 bill if I saw it on the street. I addressed that myth before my #AMA at 10: http://b-gat.es/1iGMrhC

Screenshot of Tim Cook's first tweet, from September 20, 2013, which said \Visited Retail Stores in Palo Alto today. Seeing so many happy customers reminds us of why we do what we do.\
Tim Cook

The Apple CEO regularly tweets Apple-related news, inspirational quotes and news about his favorite sports teams.

Twitter handle: @tim_cook

Twitter bio: CEO Apple, Fan of Auburn football and Duke basketball

Followers: 421K

Average tweets per day: Less than 1

More recent tweet (February 24, 2014): Remembering Steve on his birthday:  "Details matter, it’s worth waiting to get it right."

Screenshot of Pat McGovern's first tweet, from August 3, 2009, which said \Opened new IDG office in Phnom Penh; Cambodia receptive to intl business, expect 7-9% GNP growth rate per yr over next 5 yrs\
Pat McGovern

The late founder of ITworld's parent corporation, International Data Group (IDG) was not a prolific tweeter but, when he did tweet, it was usually to express pride in his company and employees. He is already great missed!

Twitter handle: @pathere

Twitter bio: Founder and Chairman of International Data Group (IDG)

Followers: 1,252

Average tweets per day: Less than 1

Last tweet (March 17, 2011): Congrats to IDC team on Directions 2011! Over 2,000 attendees and highly insightful sessions in Boston and San Jose.