What you need to know - Friday 10/22/10

Katie Gatto · October 22, 2010 · Short URL: https://vator.tv/n/12f0

RGB Networks raised $20M; Offers.com $7M; HP launches Slate 500 tablet; Kleiner launches sFund

Foursquare hits the four-million user mark. This is after hitting the three million user make in August of this year, and the one million user mark in March of this year.

Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers announced the creation of the sFund. The fund, worth $250 million, will focus on social media start ups. The announcement was made with the executives of companies like Facebook, Zynga and Amazon on the stage.

Twitter made its way onto the Windows 7 phone launch. This is accomplished with an app, similar to the existing one for iPhone.


HP launched the Slate 500 tablet. The device has an 8.9 inch screen, and will retail for $799. It runs on the Windows 7 operating system.

Microsoft is expected to announce its own games for PC site, on November 15th. The site, dubbed Games for Windows Marketplace,  will be an online store, which will allow users to download games with either Microsoft points or a credit card.

CafeBots announced it has raised $5 million. This was the first round of funding for the company. The round was led by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, as part of their sFund investments.

RGB Networks raised $20 million. This was the company's fifth round of funding. Investors who contributed to the fund were not announced at this time.

Hewlett-Packard  announced that it has bough ArcSight. The final cost was $43.50 per share, which comes to an  enterprise value of roughly $1.5 billion.

Offers.com raised $7 million funding. The round was led by Susquehanna Growth Equity, LLLP. This was first round of funding for the company.

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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.