Five years ago, the tweet that changed everything

Jan. 15, 2014 at 10:34 AM ET

Video: Watch Nightly News’ coverage on the event that became known as “Miracle on the Hudson” from Jan. 15, 2009. NBC's Mike Taibbi reports from Manhattan's West side where an A-320 Airbus was forced to make an emergency landing in the Hudson River after hitting a flock of geese.

When U.S. Airways Flight 1549 touched down on the frigid waters in the Hudson River on Jan. 15, 2009, Twitter, for many, was just a funny word in the dictionary. Fast forward five years and it's as ubiquitous as a bird in the sky.

What was deemed "the most successful ditching in aviation history" helped Twitter become the social media powerhouse it is today, and the now-public company has Janis Krums to thank.

"There's a plane in the Hudson. I'm on the ferry going to pick up the people. Crazy." Krums tweeted along with a photo to his 170 followers. Exactly 32 minutes later, the man who first reported "The Miracle on the Hudson" was interviewed live on MSNBC.

"It changed everything," Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey told CNBC in 2013. "Suddenly the world turned its attention because we were the source of news—and it wasn't us, it was this person in the boat using the service, which is even more amazing."

Tweets now move billions of dollars in the stock market, have delivered play-by-play of the killing of the FBI's most wanted terrorist, and allow planet Earth to communicate directly with humans and machines residing in outer space.

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