File this one under, "It's probably not healthy to make a big deal out of this, but we will."
Well, not quite "quit." He's taking a break, according to what is currently his only tweet as of September 24. He deleted all the other tweets. (That's a lot of tweets. We're not sure exactly how many tweets, but consider that according to a 2014 USA Today story, Andreessen tweeted more than 10,000 times between Jan. 1 and April 1 of that year.)
Why did he quit? We've sent him an email to ask. When is he coming back? Maybe we'll be lucky enough to find out. Why did he delete his tweets? Andreessen's venture capital firm reportedly told TechCrunch it was "just a break from Twitter." So, that's another unknown.
Another question people who don't spend excessive amounts of time on Twitter or who don't otherwise live a portion of their lives in what can be described as an echo chamber of Silicon Valley gossip is, why would anyone care?
Well, there are a lot of questions in the world that have no answer. But we can offer some context. Marc Andreessen, the Netscape founder who told us in a Wall Street Journal op-ed that software is eating the world, is known for tweeting a lot, about a lot of things, usually expressing a strong opinion, and sometimes sounding completely tone-deaf. He's also known for blocking people.
Taking a Twitter break!-- Marc Andreessen (@pmarca) September 25, 2016
In honor, or memoriam, or something, here is a rundown of five exceedingly Marc Andreessen things Mr. @pmarca has said or done on Twitter.
That time he invented the tweetstorm.
Andreessen is credited as the "father of the tweetstorm," that now ubiquitous practice whereby a Twitter account unleashes a tirade of 140-character messages on the same topic. Andreessen tweetstorms about bitcoin, about the unlikelihood of the tech bubble popping, about the 1930s and more. Archives of his and his Andreessen Horowitz colleagues' tweestorms can be found on Medium.
That time he had to clarify he was against colonialism.
When someone criticized Facebook's "Free Basics" internet program rejected by India, calling it colonial, Andreessen tweeted, "anti-colonialism has been economically catastrophic for the Indian people for decades. Why stop now?" The program has also been offered in other countries, including Nigeria. People were offended by what the early Facebook backer said. He deleted the comment, later tweeting the clarification, "And for the record, I am opposed to colonialism, in any country," according to Gizmodo. He also apologized to the nation of India.
That time he blocked everyone.
Andreessen is known for blocking Twitter accounts. CNNMoney speculated in a 2015 story about the trend that he blocked folks who disagreed with his political views, which are generally perceived as libertarian, although he is supporting Hillary Clinton against Donald Trump. But data analyst Michael Alatortsev, who at the time was reportedly among those blocked by Andreessen, looked at the more than 200 accounts that had tweeted about being blocked and told CNN, "There's no obvious pattern. He does not discriminate ... It's all over the place."
He was late to the party anyway.
Despite all these firsts, Andreessen wasn't even an early adopter of Twitter. He was quite tardy. Sure, he registered his @pmarca account in 2007, when Twitter was in early days, but he refrained from using the platform regularly for another seven years Once he started, he didn't stop. "During the first six months of 2014, Andreessen tweeted 21,783 times--more than any of Twitter's founders have posted since its creation, and an average of five tweets per hour, every hour," Dan Frommer, then at Quartz, wrote in 2014. It was during that six-month window the venture capitalist popularized the tweetstorm.
And oh, about that break ...
Nothing on Twitter could be more Marc Andreessen than Marc Andreessen quitting Twitter. Erm, well, taking a break. And deleting all his previous tweets. Better to (temporarily) burn out than to fade away, right? Especially when rumors are stirring, according to Recode's Kara Swisher, that the venture capitalist may be involved in a possible purchase of the platform. Sale rumors aside, two years after he popularized the tweetstorm, will Andreessen's "Twitter break" become "a thing"?