New Twitter feature lets you view anyone’s first tweet, thrills navel-gazing Twitter-users everywhere

To celebrate its eighth birthday, Twitter — a “place where you can discover new ideas, make real human connections and express yourself freely” — has bestowed the gift of navel-gazing techno-nostalgia to its 241 million users.

As the service announced Wednesday night, you can now see any user’s first tweet by clicking over to the Discover tab and entering their username. This is not necessarily breaking news — many tools exist to let people do this type of digging already — but by making a nice, user-friendly and universally accessible tool for it, Twitter has basically opened the floodgates to everyone’s annoying first-tweet retweets. Expect to see nothing but nostalgia-tinged throwback tweets today, cluttering your timeline like so many baby pictures.

If there’s anything worth deriving from all this trivia, honestly, it’s the eyeroll-inducing fact that most people’s first tweets are about Twitter — a good demonstration, perhaps, of the oft-repeated claim that social media is less a “place where you can discover new ideas,” etc., and more an insulated echo chamber for a very specific, tech- and media-savvy elite.

Speaking of the savvy and self-involved elite, Twitter has basically solved one of that crowd’s most contentious recent squabbles. If Twitter didn’t want the media embedding random tweets, why would it serve us gems like this one?

Caitlin Dewey runs The Intersect blog, writing about digital and Internet culture. Before joining the Post, she was an associate online editor at Kiplinger’s Personal Finance.
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