Yahoo partners with Twitter to share the feed

Ronny Kerr · February 24, 2010 · Short URL:

On heels of recently formed Facebook relationship, Yahoo strikes similar deal with Twitter

Yahoo! + TwitterYahoo! last night announced that it has struck a deal with Twitter that will bring the microblogging site to Yahoo! and its many Web properties, letting Yahoo users access the stream without actually going to Twitter.

Users will be able access their Twitter feeds from the Yahoo! homepage, Yahoo! Mail, Yahoo! Sports, and other various properties, meaning that users won't actually have to surf over to the microblogging site to check up on their followed. In addition, from those same Yahoo! properties, users will be able to tweet out to their followers. Finally, updates from the entire Twitter stream will, effective immediately, start showing up in Yahoo! search results.

Bing and Google struck similar deals just a few months ago, bringing Twitter content in the form of mini-feeds to their search results. If it wasn't obvious already, the search giants clearly see great value in the vast store of real-time updates coming through Twitter every single day.

"The information in one single tweet can travel light years farther with this Yahoo integration," said Twitter co-founder Biz Stone in a statement. "Tweets in more places brings relevance where and when you need it most."

A couple days ago, Twitter revealed that it is now seeing about 50 million tweets per day. That's some serious data, especially considering that just a year ago, the small microblogging startup had only been seeing about 2.5 million tweets per day.

According to Yahoo, the real-time search integration should already be live, while the extra features will be launching later in the year.

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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.

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