Twitter Anniversaries

Celebrating time spent Tweeting

Joe Tutterow
Sep 13, 2017 · 4 min read

It may be hard to believe that Twitter has been around for more than 11 years, but that may not come as much of a shock to our customers. The amount of time folks have spent on the platform is something of badge of honor. In fact, people Tweet about their Twitter anniversary quite often. It hasn’t always been easy to determine this information, though.

The special date was only available on Twitter by visiting a profile on the web. That left many to use third-party services to find out when they joined Twitter. That’s where our work started: We wanted to make it easier to know when your anniversary is.

That’s when we began ideating solutions. For instance, we could make the information more prominent on profiles. However, we quickly realized that simply increasing awareness of that information missed the point. The fun in reaching a milestone occurs when you can celebrate that moment. With that in mind, a reminder functionality became our clear focus.

Notifications are the obvious choice for reminders. We set out to create a notification that would delight our customers, celebrate the occasion, and encourage conversation with the community.

The team used this criteria to narrow in on an idea: Let’s commemorate the occasion with a special piece of art on the day of the anniversary. Additionally, we wanted to provide an easy way for folks to share the moment with their followers and a larger community. And thus, #MyTwitterAnniversary was born.

At this point, the product team knew that the success or failure of #MyTwitterAnniversary would hinge on the visual design of a commemorative element. Enter Twitter’s Creative Studio.

We kicked off the visual design phase with the complementary notions that the artwork must feel celebratory and that each year should be dynamic and special. Whether people have been on Twitter for two years or 11, we wanted them to feel inspired to share and celebrate their unique anniversaries.

We presented three creative directions to start, and after making some tough decisions, ultimately arrived at our paper craft design technique. Explorations and research followed to identify the fonts and paper engineering techniques that would make each number unique. Paired with our Twitter brand color palette, X-acto cutting blades, rulers, tape, and lots of paper, we were ready for the fun part: building our designs!

The design was time-consuming, as each number called for its own process. We spent the next three days punching out dots, folding, creasing, curling, gluing, pinning, and splicing … you name it!

Once each piece of artwork was made, we had to light and photograph them to produce the digital versions.

The photographs were lightly retouched to fix some of the smaller flaws (nobody’s perfect), then cropped and formatted to get them ready for their debut in your Tweets!

The end result has been heartening and delightful to observe. Since Twitter Anniversary started rolling out in late May, there’s been no shortage of inspiring stories being shared. They’re funny and irreverent, triumphant, and earnest. See for yourself!

How ever long you’ve been Tweeting, we’re happy you’re here!

Written, designed and covered in confetti by Joe Tutterow from the Design team, and Mackenzie Crist, b-havior, and Kengo Olsen from the Creative Studio team at @Twitter.

Twitter Design & Research

More than 280 characters from the designers, content strategists, and researchers at Twitter.

Joe Tutterow

Written by

Product designer at Twitter, dog Dad, eater of pizza, survivor of the state of Florida.

Twitter Design & Research

More than 280 characters from the designers, content strategists, and researchers at Twitter.

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