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Service providers scrambling to be the first to get high speed networks to attract best smartphonesHow does that 3G feel on your smartphone? Pretty fast, right? Well, I bet it doesn’t feel anywhere near as fast as the network speeds on Jeffrey Nelson’s tester phones today.
About two hours ago, Nelson, the self-described Verizon Wireless PR guy, uninhibitedly and without hesitation, made a pretty clear tweet that the service provider is undergoing its first tests of the 4G LTE (Long-Term Evolution) network: “Hmm. When will Verizon Wireless and our valued partners conduct the first LTE data calls? Not a slow summer Friday I hope.”
It seems as he’s in quite the 4G mood today. About a half an hour ago, he tweeted, “Thinking nice things about Alcatel-Lucent and Ericsson,” in response to recent reports that Ericsson CTO Hakan Eriksson has said that WiMax will lose the network war against LTE, just as Betamax lost against VHS so long ago.
Early this year, Verizon announced that it would make its LTE network available—first to laptop users—by the end of 2009, with expansions to smartphones coming in the following two years, according to a report on InfoWorld. With these tests already underway (and in plain sight of the public), it would appear that the wireless provider is on schedule.
With other service providers aggressively pushing their 4G launch dates forward, this is looking to be an intense fight between major providers over dominance in the smartphone market in the United States.
We reported, at the end of last month, that Sprint was already losing its Palm Pre exclusivity, less than two months after the Pre’s release in early June. Verizon will be carrying the Palm Pre by early next year, but probably on the 3G network.
At the same time, most are aware that the exclusive agreement between AT&T and the Apple iPhone will likewise be terminating sometime next year. Since both Apple and Palm are probably already working on 4G-enabled smartphones as exclusivity agreements expire left and right, there’s no telling who, if anybody, will be tied to which network.
Could we see a Verizon iPhone on 4G by next year? Maybe, but right now that’s up in the air.
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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.