How Twitter lost the celebs

Taylor Lorenz, Steven Zeitchik, Will Oremus
The Washington Post

In April 2009, Ashton Kutcher publicly challenged CNN to a race to be the first to reach 1 million followers on the buzzy, three-year-old social network Twitter. Kutcher tweeted that if he won the race he would "ding dong ditch" CNN founder Ted Turner's house.

Kutcher won. As he live-streamed himself popping champagne ("I found it astonishing that one person can actually have as big of a voice online as what an entire media company can on Twitter," Kutcher said), famous people began rushing to join Twitter. The app's infrastructure buckled under the traffic.