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between the Internet and the TV Set via the Intel-Yahoo Widget Channel Framework
Lance Koenders (TA, Intel Digital Home Group) presented an up-to-date overview of the Widget Channel framework in a panel discussion entitled "The Marriage of Television and the Internet" at the Cinequest Independent Film Festival on February 28, 2009.
Intel and Yahoo set out to democratize social network access to TV distribution through the creation of new hardware, a web2.0 API, and network partnerships with Twitter, MySpace, Joost, CinemaNow, Cinequest, and others. The challenge was to differentiate between the desired user experiences on the PC and TV by supporting 1080P 60 FPS multi-streaming while insulating the consumer from malware, viruses, and other foul effects. Leveraging the Intel® Media Processor CE 3100-based hardware development system called the "Innovation Platform", applications deployed under the Widget Channel Framework enable users to share experiences with their social network friends, and to invite them to watch together in real-time (albeit in virtual space). A logged-in user has a personalized space that reflects elements of her/his profile and shares what they care about. Current developments and deployments by framework partners have opened doors to independent film producers and content owners to market, distribute, and monetize on a larger scale and at greater cost effectiveness than had previously been thought possible.
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What is Twitter?
Twitter is an online information network that allows anyone with an account to post 140 character messages, called tweets. It is free to sign up. Users then follow other accounts which they are interested in, and view the tweets of everyone they follow in their "timeline." Most Twitter accounts are public, where one does not need to approve a request to follow, or need to follow back. This makes Twitter a powerful "one to many" broadcast platform where individuals, companies or organizations can reach millions of followers with a single message. Twitter is accessible from Twitter.com, our mobile website, SMS, our mobile apps for iPhone, Android, Blackberry, our iPad application, or 3rd party clients built by outside developers using our API. Twitter accounts can also be private, where the owner must approve follower requests.
Where did the idea for Twitter come from?
Twitter started as an internal project within the podcasting company Odeo. Jack Dorsey, and engineer, had long been interested in status updates. Jack developed the idea, along with Biz Stone, and the first prototype was built in two weeks in March 2006 and launched publicly in August of 2006. The service grew popular very quickly and it soon made sense for Twitter to move outside of Odea. In May 2007, Twitter Inc was founded.
How is Twitter built?
Our engineering team works with a web application framework called Ruby on Rails. We all work on Apple computers except for testing purposes.
We built Twitter using Ruby on Rails because it allows us to work quickly and easily--our team likes to deploy features and changes multiple times per day. Rails provides skeleton code frameworks so we don't have to re-invent the wheel every time we want to add something simple like a sign in form or a picture upload feature.
How do you make money from Twitter?
There are a few ways that Twitter makes money. We have licensing deals in place with Google, Yahoo!, and Microsoft's Bing to give them access to the "firehose" - a stream of tweets so that they can more easily incorporate those tweets into their search results.
In Summer 2010, we launched our Promoted Tweets product. Promoted Tweets are a special kind of tweet which appear at the top of search results within Twitter.com, if a company has bid on that keyword. Unlike search results in search engines, Promoted Tweets are normal tweets from a business, so they are as interactive as any other tweet - you can @reply, favorite or retweet a Promoted Tweet.
At the same time, we launched Promoted Trends, where companies can place a trend (clearly marked Promoted) within Twitter's Trending Topics. These are especially effective for upcoming launches, like a movie or album release.
Lastly, we started a Twitter account called @earlybird where we partner with other companies to provide users with a special, short-term deal. For example, we partnered with Virgin America for a special day of fares on Virginamerica.com that were only accessible through the link in the @earlybird tweet.
What's next for Twitter?
We continue to focus on building a product that provides value for users.
We're building Twitter, Inc into a successful, revenue-generating company that attracts world-class talent with an inspiring culture and attitude towards doing business.