Twitter has come a long way since Jack Dorsey sent the first message on the platform then known as 'twttr' on 21 March 2006. As its much-hyped IPO gets underway on the New York Stock Exchange, all the attention today is on Twitter's numbers. With that in mind, The Drum thought it would be an apt moment to remind people what the site is really about – which is, of course, its users.
We asked some of the top tweeters from the worlds of media and marketing (and one man notable by his absence on the site) one simple question: In no more than 140 characters, what does Twitter mean to you?
Here's what they said...
Rory Cellan-Jones, BBC technology correspondent
For reporters, it's now the place to seek answers, promote your work, be informed, amused, even enraged. How would we cope without Twitter?
Trevor Beattie, partner, Beattie McGuinness Bungay
With the exception of bath-leg pix and its total inability to comprehend irony, I believe that Twitter is really rather splendid. Don't you?
Sir Martin Sorrell, CEO, WPP
Sir Martin Sorrell is not on Twitter
An enormously successful PR and data medium and IPO!
Poppy Dinsey, founder, What I Wore Today
For me, Twitter means being connected, informed, entertained, surprised, disappointed, shocked, educated and surrounded. For free. 24/7.
Nicolas Roope, founder, Poke
@Twitter taught us less can be much much more
Rory Sutherland, ECD and vice-chairman, OgilvyOne
The freedom to share without placing the recipient under any obligation to read, respond or reciprocate.
Jemima Kiss, head of technology, the Guardian
It's about brevity, about the now, and about having an active, open public voice. It's the first place I turn for internet wisdom!
Andrew Bloch, group managing director, Frank PR
Twitter is a pulse – a fast & easy way to keep in contact with & feel connected to a diverse set of interesting individuals and news sources
Laura Jordan Bambach, creative director, Dare
Inspiration, agitation, a place to fuel imagination. A stream of songs and links and # and cats and cakes and gifs and trash.
Tom Bedecarré, chairman, AKQA
Twitter has shifted the epicenter of Silicon Valley from Palo Alto to San Francisco, my hometown.
Marketing Chap, chief chap officer, MarketingChap.com
@Marketing_Chap Marketing Chap blogs for The Drum at Thoughts from a marketing chap
Most social media platforms allow a chap to amplify influence he already has. Uniquely, Twitter allows one to build influence from scratch.
Abba Newbery, director of advertising, News UK
It was the first social channel that was made for mobile and has defined a new language of mobile design and interaction
Andrew Boulton, copywriter, Together Agency
@Boultini Andrew writes the Writer, Reader, Rascal blog for The Drum
I should say it’s a powerful communication tool. But really it’s a test ground for cheese jokes that my wife doesn’t think are funny.
Annette King, chief executive, OgilvyOne EAME
Breaking news; from the frivolous to the serious the odds are you’ll see it on Twitter, before it hits the traditional news
Jeremy Waite, head of social strategy, Adobe EMEA
@jeremywaiteJeremy is chairing the judging panel at the Social Buzz Awards
As the most powerful and underrated comms tool on the planet, I love @Twitter for giving EVERYONE a voice and making the world smaller
Mel Exon, chief digital officer, BBH & co-founder, BBH Labs
@melexFor the latest on Twitter's IPO, read our up-to-the-minute coverage rounding up the industry reaction
Twitter is the crack cocaine of the chattering classes. Addicted at the start, I'm still a devoted regular user. How often can you say that?