It’s the end of an era, of sorts – @realDonaldTrump, the Twitter feed that grew from the random musings of a reality TV star into the cudgel of an American president, died on Friday. It was not quite 12 years old. The provocative handle was brought into the world by a New York real estate tycoon who used it to help him become the 45th US president. It began with a May 4, 2009, tweet promoting Donald Trump’s upcoming appearance on CBS’ Late Show with David Letterman . The Trump family in 2020, summed up in 7 stories It died more than 57,000 tweets later, with Trump using some of his final postings on the platform to commiserate with a pro-Trump mob that besieged the halls of Congress in a deadly assault as lawmakers were set to certify his defeat by Democrat Joe Biden, a man of utterly different character . Donald Trump and Joe Biden’s favourite watches – revealed The account met its demise when Twitter announced on January 8 that it was pulling the plug permanently on @realDonaldTrump, citing concern that Trump would use it for “further incitement of violence”. Trump retorted that he’d be “building out our own platform in the near future. We will not be SILENCED!” Trump after Twitter ban: 'We will not be SILENCED!' https://t.co/GeK9groGEh pic.twitter.com/Jzt4G1BTAq — ANADOLU AGENCY (ENG) (@anadoluagency) January 9, 2021 Trump, a novice politician but seasoned salesman, realised the power of social media in ways that few other politicians did. And he wielded it with never-before-seen power to diminish his opponents, shape elections and mould reality – at least in the eyes of his supporters. Why does Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner’s relationship work so well? Early on, @realDonaldTrump seemed innocent enough. Its owner, who had years of experience in marketing casinos, real estate and even Oreos , used the platform mostly to promote his books, media appearances and give friendly plugs to friends. But as Trump began seriously toying with a White House run, it became a tool to scorch opponents and give shape to his nationalist, “America First” philosophy. Melania’s life after the White House: New York, TV deal, modelling comeback? He deployed his venom widely, whether insulting celebrity enemies (Rosie O’Donnell was “crude, rude, obnoxious and dumb”) or using xenophobia to malign a country (Britain is “trying hard to disguise their massive Muslim problem”). Peter Costanzo, then an online marketing director for the publishing company putting out Trump’s book, Think Like a Champion , helped bring Trump to the platform. Meet Melania Trump’s parents – from Slovenia to the White House Twitter was still in its infancy at the time. But Costanzo, who later came to work for Associated Press, saw the then-140-character-per-message platform as a new tool that the real estate mogul could use to boost sales and reach a broader audience. #DonaldTrump joined Twitter after seven-minute pitch by Peter Costanzo https://t.co/9OmNevvp9i #Trump2016 #Trump pic.twitter.com/RF19f2pHG0 — Zesty Trump News (@zesty_trump) May 31, 2016 Costanzo was given seven minutes to make his pitch to Trump – “Not five minutes, not 10,” he recalled in a 2016 interview. Trump liked what he heard. Lee Do-hyun’s pig hat, and 4 more shocking ways Korean idols angered their fans “I said, ‘Let’s call you @realDonaldTrump – you’re the real Donald Trump,’” recalled Costanzo. “He thought about it for a minute and said: ‘I like it. Let’s do it.’” Other than Trump’s family, no one seemed off-limits from his Twitter wrath. Trump attacked Senate Republicans, Senate Democrats, 2016 political rivals, current administration staffers, former administration staffers, the Republican Party and cable networks. And @realDonaldTrump was prolific: on days when its owner was particularly agitated, such as in the midst of impeachment proceedings, it pushed out more than 100 tweets. Billie Eilish’s body-shaming shows fashion still rarely celebrates real women In its most popular tweet, on October 2, 2020, @realDonaldTrump announced that Trump and first lady Melania Trump had contracted Covid-19. The post got 1.8 million likes and nearly 400,000 retweets, according to Factba.se, which tracks the president’s social media habits and commentary. The account was used to announce firings. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson learned of his ousting in a tweet. The account threatened adversaries in the most colourful terms. Before Trump “fell in love” with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un through secretly exchanged letters, Trump used Twitter to dub him “Rocket Man” and vowed to respond with “fire and fury” if the authoritarian dared attack the United States. Why don’t any of these Korean stars use IG or social media? Moreover, @realDonaldTrump frequently spread misleading, false and malicious assertions, such as the baseless ideas that protesters at Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearings were paid by the liberal philanthropist George Soros and that November 2020’s presidential election was beset by voter fraud. Trump often tweeted well past midnight and before dawn, making it a cathartic outlet for grievances (“Witch hunt!”, “Crooked Hillary”, “Russia, Russia, Russia”, “FAKE NEWS”, and so on.) For the most part, @realDonaldTrump and its 140- and later 280-character posts effectively allowed Trump to work around the Washington media establishment and amplify the message of allies. From Beyoncé to Priyanka Chopra, 5 of the Ambanis’ most famous friends Sometimes @realDonaldTrump stumbled. Trump deleted 1,166 tweets and, in his final months on the platform, had 471 tweets flagged by Twitter for misinformation, according to Factba.se. In one of his most memorable Twitter stumbles, Trump in May 2017 sent (and later deleted) a cryptic post-midnight tweet that read, “Despite the constant negative press covfefe.” Going to miss informative and vocabulary building tweets pic.twitter.com/2aU6SqpmSg — N (@n_i_g_a_m) January 9, 2021 The gibberish set the Twitterverse afire with speculation. Theories included that the tweeter-in-chief had fallen asleep mid-message and that the man who once bragged of having “the best words” was adding a new word to the lexicon to properly describe collusion between Democrats and the press. The mystery was never solved. The 25 most hilarious Donald Trump memes on the internet Sam Nunberg, a long-time – and now former – Trump adviser, said that in the summer of 2011, after Trump announced he wasn’t running in 2012 but wanted to remain relevant, his team decided to start using social media to boost his profile. They chose to focus on Twitter, where he already had an account and several hundred thousand followers. Nunberg remembers sending Trump daily reports on his follower growth. Trump would sometimes hand it back with handwritten notes – “Why not more?” “Why so slow?” They celebrated when they hit the million mark. “Twitter definitely played a pivotal role in building Donald Trump as a political figure within Republican politics and he also greatly enjoyed it,” said Nunberg. “Remember he used to say: ‘I wanted to own a newspaper. This is great, it’s like a newspaper without the losses.’” Are Donald Trump’s private jets a step down from Air Force One? Trump’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., took to Twitter shortly after the platform banned @realDonaldTrump to note that it continues to allow Iran’s supreme leader “and numerous other dictatorial regimes” to use the platform, but cannot abide his father. So the ayatollah, and numerous other dictatorial regimes can have Twitter accounts with no issue despite threatening genocide to entire countries and killing homosexuals etc... but The President of the United States should be permanently suspended. Mao would be proud. — Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) January 9, 2021 “Mao would be proud,” Trump Jr. scoffed. In the end, @realDonaldTrump offered an in-the-moment peek into Trump’s state of mind over more than a decade, a period in which the Apprentice television star transformed into the 45th American president. Down the road, when historians look for a glimpse into Trump’s thoughts on the issues of his time – anything from actress Kristen Stewart’s treatment of co-star Robert Pattinson to the president’s views on Russian meddling in the 2016 election – the first stop may inevitably be one of the many digital archives that have preserved the tweets of @realDonaldTrump. With Trump, whatever the topic, there was always a tweet for that. Want more stories like this? Sign up here . Follow STYLE on Facebook , Instagram , YouTube and Twitter .