Biz Stone celebrates Twitter’s fifth anniversary with Conan O’Brien


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Biz Stone celebrated the fifth anniversary of Twitter on Conan O’Brien’s show on TBS Monday night.

The connection between the Twitter co-founder and the celebrity Twitter user makes sense: This is a company that likes to laugh. And O’Brien is really into Twitter. As he has said: It saved his bacon.


Stone and O’Brien chatted about how Charlie Sheen won millions of followers and the role the Internet service has played in much weightier world events. (Recalling he was flooded with calls from media organizations wanting to know the details of Twitter’s influence on civil unrest in Moldovia in 2009, Stone says he was tempted to say he had decided he wasn’t happy with the regime there but decided he had better look up the country on Wikipedia first).

O’Brien ribbed Stone about the service’s origins as the ‘Seinfeld of the Internet’ (a website about nothing) and his ‘lame’ tweets opining about the deliciousness of tomatoes, soup and the Amtrak vegan burger. (Stone claims it was part of his job to lower the bar on Twitter so people would not be intimidated about joining.)

‘Everybody said ‘Twitter’s useless.’ To which my co-founder Evan Williams said, ‘Well, so’s ice cream. You want us to ban ice cream and all joy?’’ Stone recalled. ‘Screw that. We’ll just keep working on it.’

The service has come a long way from a stream of mundane updates and ego jolts. It’s a vibrant communication platform for hundreds of millions around the globe, averaging 140 million tweets a day.

‘Twitter seems to have found its way into almost everything going on around the world,’ Stone said.

Which is when O’Brien chimed in with a ‘personal note’: ‘It was huge for me a year ago when I found myself without a television show. It changed my life.’


‘We still use you as a great example of how to use Twitter in the best possible way,’ Stone agreed.

‘Then I should be paid,’ O’Brien retorted.



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-- Jessica Guynn