Social media giant Twitter marked their 10th anniversary Monday.

Twitter began as a sort of digital experiment by a small podcasting startup in California. The social media site with a 140 character limit tweeted their first tweet a decade ago, and now over 320 million users send over 500 million tweets each day.

“When you look at the early days of Twitter, it was a much smaller community and it was actually originally created to be a text messaging service,” says Ross Simmonds, a social media strategist. “Today, it’s being used for a wide range of things.”

Twitter has come a long way since 2006, it's become a valuable tool to connect with people – whether you're promoting a business, providing information, or just sharing a common interest with others.

“It’s not just a communication tool, it’s an obligation to your audience in a big way,” says Brenden Sommerhalder, Downtown Halifax Marketing Director.

The Downtown Halifax Twitter account regularly chats with other tweeters about restaurants, retail and events, tapping into a free, global audience.

“We definitely are working as a tourism go-between for folks who are interested in Halifax, generally as tourist destination,” says Sommerhalder.

The Halifax Regional Police also have an account, with over 61,000 followers.

“It’s a great way to interact with our community members, sort of instantaneously,” says Const. Dianne Woodworth, with the Halifax Regional Police. “Whereas before, members of our community would have to wait until the news to get information.”

In addition to companies, celebrities and political figures, many Maritimers have also created accounts and Simmonds says, in particular, Nova Scotians are fans of the site.

“Everybody wants to be connected, we want to collaborate, talk to each other and get our voices heard, which is always a great thing about being Nova Scotian and Twitter gives us that opportunity,” says Simmonds.

With files from CT Atlantic's Kelly Linehan