MySpace adds Twitter syncing

Chris Caceres · September 21, 2009 · Short URL:

Status updates can now be synced from Twitter to MySpace or vice-versa

In an attempt to keep its services fresh and up to date with Web trends, MySpace announced today the ability to sync with Twitter, the popular micro-blogging service.  

The new feature will work as a two-way updater between both services.  Sharon Nguyen, Senior Product Manager of MySpace said in a blog post, "Any U.S. user can opt-in to sync their status so that any update created on MySpace will appear in your Twitter feed and any Twitter feed update will appear within your MySpace status & mood."

To assure its users of concerns involving security and account credentials, MySpace said it is using open authentication technology, also known as OAuth.  OAuth enables both sites to share limited data while keeping personal information confidential.

When an update appears on Twitter from MySpace, a shortened URL link appears in hopes that users will click to MySpace in order to leave a comment.  Also, the Tweet says it came from MySpace, similar to how other Twitter clients function.  On the other end, when a user Tweets, their MySpace current status and mood will automatically be updated and a little Twitter "T" icon appears, indicating the update came from Twitter.

Earlier this month, comScore reported younger users in the 12-24 age range were Twitter's fastest growing audience.  This clearly one of the reasons MySpace has added Twitter syncing functionality, since the majority of its own users reside within the same age range.  Facebook, the insanely popular social networking site with 300 million users, allows for Twitter syncing via a Twitter application users can install.

Nguyen said MySpace would be adding other networks soon.

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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.