Twitter opens firehose to smaller developers

Matt Bowman · March 1, 2010 · Short URL: https://vator.tv/n/e1b

Yahoo, Google and Microsoft aren't the only ones bathing in the full Twitter stream anymore.

 Twitter opened up it’s “firehose”—the full stream of public tweets—to seven new companies today. Previously, the full stream was made available only to Yahoo, Google and Microsoft; other developers only had access to rate-limited offering.

The seven companies privileged with the stream are Ellerdale, Collecta, Kosmix, Scoopler, twazzup, CrowdEye, and Chainn Search. Twitter says “these companies range from funded startups to part-time, one-person operations.” One of them—Chainn Search, doesn’t even appear to have a web presence yet.

Twitter is likely taking the size of the partner—and the potential drain on Twitter’s servers—into account in the pricing. Bloomberg reported that the Google and Microsoft deals added up to around $25 million, enough to make the company profitable in 2009. You can be sure the one-person startup isn’t paying that much. Twitter says that to deal with the variously-sized partners, “we came up with a fair way to license access that scales with their business.”

There’s clearly monetization potential here, and the company has invited any other company that wants a taste of the hose to initiate a conversation. The fact that no deal terms have been disclosed indicates Twitter will likely size up each partner as they come in, and demand a toll proportionate to their size, while fostering the budding ecosystem of bootstrapping developers with a bit of favoritism whenever appropriate.

 

image credit: https://www.rffd.org

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Kosmix was acquired by Walmart in May of 2011 to create @WalmartLabs.

Through the innovative fusion of retail, social and mobile, @WalmartLabs is redefining Commerce for the largest retailer worldwide. We are a group comprised of the brightest technologists and businesspeople in the industry, excited about the limitless opportunities that this next generation of Commerce will bring to billions of people around the globe, all in an effort to help them save money and live better.

Kosmix was funded by Time Warner Investments, Accel Partners, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Dag Ventures, private investor Ed Zander and Jeff Bezos' personal investment company, Bezos Expeditions.

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http://www.walmartlabs.com/open-positions/

 

Scoopler, Inc.

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Scoopler is a real-time search engine. We aggregate and organize content being shared on the internet as it happens, like eye-witness reports of breaking news, photos and videos from big events, and links to the hottest memes of the day. We do this by constantly indexing live updates from services including Twitter, Flickr, Digg, Delicious and more. When you search for a topic on Scoopler, we give you the most relevant results, updated in real-time.

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Twitter

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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.

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