clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

What you need to know about Twitter

New, 8 comments

The past, present, and future of the internet's loudest social media platform

If you buy something from a Verge link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

While traveling from New York City to my new home in Austin, I downloaded Twitter onto my phone. I have a sordid history with the social media platform, particularly when its stream of opinions is accessible all day, every day. But I wanted something to distract me on the long road trips, and help pass the time in an unfurnished house. Twitter is nothing if not a competent distraction.

At first, the app did its job, keeping me updated on current events and interesting stories. Eventually, though, it once again tapped into an inner depression. For me, this happens every time I let the app become an addiction. I deleted Twitter againIt wasn't the first time, certainly won't be the last.

How Twitter came to be is almost as interesting to me as the platform itself. To learn more about my frienemy, I invited The Verge's Silicon Valley Editor Casey Newton to explain the platform's origin and speculate on its future. Newton understands social media better than anyone I know — his Snapchat game is strong — and his analysis of Twitter is as illuminating as it is accessible.

Subscribe to What's Tech? on iTunes, listen on SoundCloud, or subscribe via RSS. And be sure to follow us on Twitter. You can also find the entire collection of What's Tech? stories right here on the The Verge Dot Com.