What you need to know - 04/05/11

Ronny Kerr · April 5, 2011 · Short URL: https://vator.tv/n/18e7

Facebook for iPhone updated with new check-in features; LivingSocial raises another $400 million

Experience Project, the social network for shared life experiences, launched BroadCause, a platform for "social good" where Internet users can connect with the non-profit organizations and causes across a wide swath of categories.

Cing.com, a new daily deals site that promises to offer both daily deals and real-time hourly deals, launched.



MediaSift Ltd., a developer of social media tools and platforms for the real-time social Web, announced that it and Twitter have partnered up to make the full Twitter Firehose commercially available through DataSift.

Facebook for iPhone was updated with the ability to check into events, a maps feature for seeing where your friends are that have checked in, updated UI and the ability to unfriend people from your phone.

Jonathan Rosenberg, Senior Vice President of Product Management at Google, revealed that he will be resigning after years with the company. In unrelated news, Google made a $900 million bid for Nortel's patents.

 HouseTrip raised $2.7 million in Series A venture capital funding from Index Ventures.



A new study released by IAB (the Interactive Advertising Bureau) found that advertisers and marketers plan to ramp up their digital video advertising (DVA) efforts over the next 12 months. The survey questioned 148 marketers and 352 agencies and the vast majority reported that they have plans to increase their DVA spending over the next year by an average of 22% across the board.

LivingSocial has raised another $400 million in funding from several new and existing investors, according to multiple sources close to the company.

Logicworks, a provider of enterprise hosting and cloud computing solutions,  raised $7.6 million in growth financing from Seaport Capital, LLC.


KANA Software, provider of Service Experience Management (SEM) solutions, acquired Overtone, provider of social media and customer listening platforms.

Practice Fusion, an EMR and healthcare community, closed a $23 million Series B round of financing led by Founders Fund.

Ranker, a site for listing and ranking anything and everything, raised a $1.3 million Series A round of funding led by Tim Draper at Draper Associates, with participation from a few others.

Online display advertising company Rocket Fuel raised a $6.6 million Series C round led by Northgate Capital.

Twitter finally launched advanced search, allowing users to perform specific word searches, find things that certain users are saying, and search by location and sentiment.

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Ronny Kerr

I am a professional writer with a decade of experience in the technology industry. At VatorNews, I cover the zero-waste economy, venture capital, and cannabis. I'm also available for freelance hire.

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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.

Practice Fusion


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Practice Fusion provides a free, web-based EMR  system to physicians. With medical charting, scheduling, e-prescribing (eRx), lab integrations, referral letters, Meaningful Use certification, unlimited support and a Personal Health Record for patients, Practice Fusion's EMR the complex needs of today's healthcare providers and disrupts the health IT status quo. Practice Fusion is the fastest growing Electronic Medical Record community in the country with more than 150,000 users serving 40 million patients. The company closed a $23 million Series B round of financing led by Founders Fund in 2011. For more information about Practice Fusion, please visit www.practicefusion.com



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Ranker is a consumer web platform and interest graph play based on the easily understood and highly engaging concept of rankings and voting. Ranker harnesses the “wisdom of crowds” to provide credible answers to questions like “what are the best <blank>?”. Visitors can vote on or rank topics with various levels of engagement, and Ranker’s technology aggregates this interest graph data into CrowdRankings such as The Best TV Shows. Ranker utilizes semantic, linked datasets to power this “connected listmaking” for users across all topics, and has partnered with Freebase, Factual, and other sources of “big data” for this. The ranker.com site launched to the public August 2009 and has seen solid traffic and user growth every month. In the future Ranker will be porting its ranking technology to other sites and platforms. As of August 2011, Ranker is accumulating 3 million unique visitors and 10 million pageviews a month.

Ranker’s platform is not confined to a specific vertical and is flexible enough to be used for blogging, shopping, polls, publishing, social networking, even organization.