RIM developing Twitter client for BlackBerry

Ronny Kerr · September 28, 2009 · Short URL: https://vator.tv/n/adb

Official BlackBerry client recognizes Twitter’s importance in social Web

Twitter RIMRIM is hard at work developing their own Twitter client for the BlackBerry, according to numerous reports across the social media blogosphere.

Though plenty of apps already exist (SocialScope, Tweetcaster, TwitterBerry, UberTwitter), this would be the first official Twitter client for BlackBerry.

The application would most likely take advantage of full integration into the rest of the phone, making for a nice laundry list of included features. For example, the app will automatically be connected to a user’s address book, browser, and device setup wizard. CrackBerry says that the actual user interface of the application will likely match those of RIM designs for its other social networking apps.

A Twitter app, RIM’s client will be expected to include most, if not all, of the features of its rivals-to-be. Basically, if there’s some action you can take on Twitter’s Web site, there’s really nothing stopping developers from implementing said action into a mobile app.

When the client is finally released, it will be yet another testament to the fact that Twitter is now one of the most popular and powerful social networking sites on the Web.

As if Twitter needed RIM’s recognition.

On Friday, the young company confirmed the closing of a $100 million round of funding with new and previous investors after a couple weeks’ worth of swirling speculation. The investors—Insight Venture Partners, T. Rowe Price, Institutional Venture Partners, Spark Capital, Benchmark Capital, and Morgan Stanley—are said to value at Twitter at $1 billion.

While Twitter will be expected to expand, evolve, and improve its site over the quarters to come, Twitter-based clients will need to follow in tandem to ensure that they still fulfill all the capabilities of the original site. If RIM’s app has this taken care of, BlackBerry users won’t need to turn to third-party apps anymore.

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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.

Research in Motion (RIM)


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Research In Motion Limited (RIM) is a leading designer, manufacturer and marketer of innovative wireless solutions for the worldwide mobile communications market. Through the development of integrated hardware, software and services that support multiple wireless network standards, RIM provides platforms and solutions for seamless access to time-sensitive information, including email, phone, text messaging (SMS and MMS), Internet and intranet-based applications. RIM technology also enables a broad array of third-party developers and manufacturers to enhance their products and services with wireless connectivity to data.

RIMs portfolio of award-winning products, services and embedded technologies are used by thousands of organizations around the world and include the BlackBerry® wireless platform, BlackBerry smartphones, software development tools, radio-modems and software/hardware licensing agreements. Founded in 1984 and based in Waterloo, Ontario, RIM operates offices in North America, Europe and Asia Pacific. RIM is listed on the Nasdaq Stock Market (Nasdaq: RIMM) and the Toronto Stock Exchange

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