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People check mobile devices whilst standing against an illuminated wall bearing Twitter Inc.'s logo in this arranged photograph in London on Jan. 5, 2016.
Chris Ratcliffe—Bloomberg / Getty Images

It was a fateful day exactly ten years ago, at 3:50 p.m., that Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey sent the first public tweet. It wasn’t a particularly evocative message (“just setting up my twttr”) but it marked the arrival of a powerful new cultural force.

In the next year, thanks in part to a persuasive showing at the 2007 South by Southwest festival, where it was named the best blogging tool, Twitter had made its way into the mainstream.

Twitter’s first appearance in the print pages of TIME came in April of 2007, when Lev Grossman described it as one more reason to worry about the consequences of our increasingly connected world:

Read the full story, here in the TIME Vault: The Hyperconnected

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Write to Lily Rothman at

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