After comedian Conan O'Brien lost the so-called late night wars and his position as the host of NBC's "The Tonight Show," in February 2010, he took to Twitter to reach his fans. This was his very first tweet. O'Brien's account quickly exploded with followers, but his wasn't the only online profile Twitter helped boost. O'Brien famously follows just one person on Twitter, Sarah Slowik (@lovelybutton), who now has more than 42,000 followers herself.
@BPGlobalPR: Catastrophe is a strong word, let's all agree to call it a whoopsie daisy.
In the aftermath of last year's devastating oil spill in the gulf, this fake Twitter account mocking BP's public relations team took the Internet by storm. The parody account swiftly gained a following on Twitter with its satirical take on clean-up efforts in the gulf. This tweet was considered one of the year's most powerful tweets by Twitter, in its 2010 "Year in Review" report. It was this account, not the official BP Twitter account, "that defined the discussion--spoofing the company's attempts to improve its public image," Twitter said.
@sh*tmydadsays: Don't focus on the one guy who hates you. You don't go to the park and set your picnic down next to the only pile of dog sh*t.
By tweeting just one of his father's crass comments a day, Justin Halperin, a one-time struggling L.A. writer, has attracted more than 2 million followers, published a best-selling book and launched a television series. This tweet was the most re-tweeted comment of 2010, according to Twitter.
@nadiralamrad: @speak2tweet http://bit.ly/f6AGsC "Phone lines are being cut in the city centre…I can't reach friends there." #Cairo #Egypt #Jan25 #Tahrir
As with Iran, Twitter helped Egyptian opposition members reach one another and the world. As uprisings spread across the Mideast this year, Twitter and social media played a crucial role in helping people communicate despite attempts at government censorship. When people lost access to the Internet, engineers from Twitter, Google and Say Now worked together to launch Speak2Tweet -- a way for people to send recorded messages via tweets. This was one of the very first messages in which a Twitter user translated a Speak2Tweet message to English and shared it with the world.
ABC News' Niketa Patel and Dan Patterson contributed to this report.