Brizzly Twitter client already supports Lists

Ronny Kerr · November 6, 2009 · Short URL:

Third-party Web-based Twitter client seamlessly merges Lists with its own Groups feature

BrizzlyThough Twitter officially launched Lists only a week ago, third-party developers are already hard at work implementing the new feature into their applications. Seesmic, a desktop client that supports both Facebook and multiple Twitter accounts, was the first, adding support earlier this week.

Thursday night, Web-based Twitter client Brizzly took second place by announcing that Lists would work with Groups without a hitch. Groups, which, like Lists, allows one to sort other users into categories of any size or specification, is a feature that has been available on Brizzly since the summer.

Brizzly says any Lists a user creates on Twitter will be accessible through Brizzly for navigating through and editing. Additionally, any groups users have created on Brizzly will automatically be transferred to Twitter as private lists, in case anyone had any unfriendly lists they didn't want to share. Brizzly co-founder Jason Shellen says the whole process should be done by Friday night.

If any of this makes you really want to try out this promising third-party client, you'll have to wait. Brizzly is still in closed beta.

Twitter has seriously picked up the pace in terms of releasing new features, having announced four pretty major changes in the past week. Last Friday, Lists was officially rolled out. Earlier this week, it was revealed that the site has been completely translated into Spanish, opening up the site's doors to a massive audience of non-English speakers. Finally, on Thursday, besides announcing the rollout of a Retweet function, Twitter divulged its decision to make Trends more useful by reducing the noise.

For a startup typically criticized for lagging behind Facebook, in terms of its ability to keep its site new with fresh updates, these are some nice changes taking place.

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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.