Since its inception a little over a decade ago, Twitter has been on a long journey of transformation and so has the accompanying mascot the Twitter Bird. March 21, 2006, marked the 10th birthday for the social media platform which quickly became a favorite among youth and celebrities. To celebrate 10 years of tweeting, the platform released a video depicting the Twitter Bird’s evolution over time. Twitter users also learned that the infamous mascot has a name.
Although this latest name-drop is getting much-needed attention, this is not the first time Larry the Bird has been called by name. The mascot received his name in honor of former NBA player, Larry Bird, who played for the Boston Celtics. This is also the home-state team of Twitter co-founder Biz Stone. As a true champion, Bird quickly transformed the Celtics into a title contender and was celebrated by basketball lovers across the globe.
Larry Joe Bird is one of the National Basketball Association’s well-known superstars. Bird, a 12-time NBA All-Star and three years back-to-back Most Valuable Player (MVP), spent his entire professional career with the Boston Celtics. During his prime, Bird won two NBA Finals MVP awards and three NBA championships. He was also a member of the 1992 United States men’s Olympic basketball team. This team, known as “The Dream Team,” won the gold medal the same year. In 1996, Bird was voted to the NBA’s 50th Anniversary All-Time Team and in 1998, the famous player was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. In 2010, he was initiated again as a member of The Dream Team.
The connection of the two birds, the NBA star, and Larry the Bird, makes sense after learning of Stone’s affiliation with Boston. Not only did he attend high school just outside of the city, according to Wikipedia, Stone was born in 1974. This means Stone was a youth at the same time Bird was taking the league by storm as the victorious player responsible for leading the Celtics to the championship games.
On February 27, Larry the Bird was mentioned in a tweet by Twitter Platform/API team product manager, Ryan Sarver. The tweet featured a picture of Douglas Bowman speaking about the bird’s evolution over the years. In 2012, in order to mark the platform’s maturity, the mascot transformed into a new bird with clean lines. According to Bowman:
Twitter is the bird, the bird is Twitter. Our new bird grows out of love for ornithology, design within creative constraints, and simple geometry. This bird is crafted purely from three sets of overlapping circles — similar to how your networks, interests, and ideas connect and intersect with peers and friends.
While the social media platform still has a huge following, it has faced some notable instability over the years. However, it remains internationally identifiable by its signature bird logo. Reportedly, the site is completely prohibited in countries such as Iran, North Korea, and China and has been intermittently blocked in other countries including Venezuela, Turkey, Iraq, and Egypt for different reasons.
In March 2015, the social media platform acquired Periscope, an app which allows live streaming of video. This addition has allowed the social media platform not only to retain a fan base of users but to add to its hefty following. Along with the many transitions necessary to stay afloat in the fast changing world of technology, Twitter’s mascot, Larry the Bird, has also been a major player in the evolution process.
By Cherese Jackson (Virginia)
Huffington Post: The Twitter Bird Has A Name
CNBC: Twitter turns 10: What’s next?
Mashable: Twitter has grown up, and so has the Twitter bird
Biography: Larry Bird
Top Image Courtesy of Geralt – Pixabay CC License
Inline Image Courtesy of Nick Antonini – Flickr License
Featured Image Courtesy of Kooroshication – Flickr License