Where did the idea for Twitter come from?
Jack Dorsey had grown interested in the simple idea of being able to know
what his friends were doing. Specifically, Jack wondered if there might be an
opportunity to build something compelling around this simple status concept.
When he brought the idea up to his colleagues, it was decided that a prototype
should be built.
Twitter was funded initially by Obvious, a creative environment in San
Francisco, CA. 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 Obvious. In May 2007, Twitter
Incorporated was founded.
Why do so many people seem to like Twitter?
Simplicity has played an important role in Twitter's success. People are
eager to connect with other people and Twitter makes that simple. Twitter asks
one question, "What are you doing?" Answers must be under 140 characters in
length and can be sent via mobile texting, instant message, or the web.
Twitter's core technology is a device agnostic message routing system with
rudimentary social networking features. By accepting messages from sms, web,
mobile web, instant message, or from third party API projects, Twitter makes it
easy for folks to stay connected.
Isn't Twitter just too much information?
No, in fact, Twitter solves information overload by changing expectations
traditionally associated with online communication. At Twitter, we ask one
question, "What are you doing?" The answers to this question are for the most
part rhetorical. In other words, users do not expect a response when they send a
message to Twitter. On the receiving end, Twitter is ambient–updates from your
friends and relatives float to your phone, IM, or web site and you are only
expected to pay as much or as little attention to them as you see fit.
The result of using Twitter to stay connected with friends, relatives, and
coworkers is that you have a sense of what folks are up to but you are not
expected to respond to any updates unless you want to. This means you can step
in and out of the flow of information as it suits you and it never queues up
with increasing demand of your attention. Additionally, users are very much in
control of whose updates they receive, when they receive them, and on what
device. For example, we provide settings for scheduling Twitter to automatically
turn off at dinnertime and users can switch off Twitter updates at any
Simply put, Twitter is what you make of it–receive a lot of information
about your friends, or just a tiny bit. It's up to them.
How is Twitter built?
Our engineering team works with a web application framework called Ruby on
Rails. We all work on macintosh computers except for testing purposes. Our web
site and user interface were designed using Omnigraffle and Photoshop.
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
How do you make money from Twitter?
Twitter has many appealing opportunities for generating revenue but we are
holding off on implementation for now because we don't want to distract
ourselves from the more important work at hand which is to create a compelling
service and great user experience for millions of people around the world. While
our business model is in a research phase, we spend more money than we make.
What's next for Twitter?
We continue to follow user behavior and pay close attention to feature
requests. We launched our mobile site, m.twitter.com after getting lots of
requests for this feature. Howev
by Jack Dorsey 共同創業者兼会長 twitter,Inc.