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One founder joins the engineering team at Twitter, the other departs to work on new things
Bagcheck, a startup backed by Sutter Hill Ventures, Morado Ventures, Jonathan Katzman and Peter Fenton, announced Monday that it has been acquired by Twitter. Terms of the deal have not been disclosed.
Literally: it’s a site for listing things.
At the top of the home page, right now, I’m seeing Jackson Fox’s list of “Kitchen Essentials,” which includes an AccuSharp Knife Sharpener, Oxo Good Grips Locking Tongs and the RSVP Spice Measuring Spoon, each with corresponding links to the item’s page on Amazon.
Other users can like the list, suggest additional items or create a (new) similar list altogether. Within the list, users can actually comment on individual items too.
Creating a list is simple and intuitive: here’s my ranking of the best albums released in 2011, a list I put together in a matter of minutes.
For the time being, Bagcheck will stay online:
Bagcheck will continue to be available. That means all the great content you've made is staying online at the same URLs and will still be searchable, sharable, and lovable. But as with any acquisition, things may change at some point in the future, so if you're worried about your content we've also created an instant export feature that will wrap all the bags you've made into a tidy set of HTML and JSON files. You can export all your content using this feature on your profile page and post or save your bags anywhere you like.
Joining Twitter’s engineering team is Sam Pullara, one of Bagcheck’s founders. The other co-founder, Luke Wroblewski, “is back to working on the next big thing,” according to the company, meaning there might be some new startup on the way.
I contacted Twitter to learn more about how the company might potentially add Bagcheck to its service’s functionality, but received only this reply:
“It's too soon at this point to share any details on how and whether Bagcheck will be incorporated into Twitter,” said Lynn Fox with Twitter public relations.
Twitter added its own “Lists” feature back in October 2009, though that gives one the ability to list other users, not items. One can either follow an entire list, or browse lists to follow only certain accounts within them.
Though the price of the acquisition was not announced, it likely made only a small splash in Twitter’s warchest, just last week bolstered by a “significant” new round of funding from DST.
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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.