YouTube adds Twitter button

Chris Caceres · March 27, 2009 · Short URL:

Video sharing site, YouTube adds new features including a Twitter button

 Last night, YouTube made some minor adjustments to its services.  It gave into the undeniable fact that everybody is Tweeting these days, by adding a Twitter button to its, "share" feature.  

YouTube's share feature displays MySpace and Facebook as the main two options, but if you click on the, "more share view options" button, you'll find Twitter along with several other buttons that were already there.  

When a user clicks on the Twitter button, a pop up window appears asking you to log into your Twitter account.  Once you are signed in, YouTube prefills the text entry with a something that looks like this:

Pretty simple, but not the best use of Twitter's 140 character limit, as the URL is not shortened in anyway whatsoever (Tinyurl, etc).  YouTube, in its blog says, "Feel free to change the prefilled text, if you like...We don't currently shorten the Video URL automagically but hope to get to it down the road."

Some of the other features YouTube added last night include, a new upload progress bar (which actually shows your progress, this has been long awaited), and the ability to login with your Google account (eliminating the need to have a separate YouTube account.) 

For a full list of additional features, check this link to YouTube's official blog.  


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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, 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, 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 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.