Friday, June 25, 2010

What is Twitter?

Twitter is a real-time information network powered by people all around the world that lets you share and discover what’s happening now. Twitter asks “what’s happening” and makes the answer spread across the globe to millions, immediately.

What Twitter Does:

Whether it’s breaking news, a local traffic jam, a deal at your favorite shop or a funny pick-me-up from a friend, Twitter keeps you informed with what matters most to you today and helps you discover what might matter to you most tomorrow.
The timely bits of information that spread through Twitter can help you make better choices and decisions and, should you so desire, creates a platform for you to influence what’s being talked about around the world. Search results spread across Twitter and in other ways across the Web so you can discover what’s happening on and off of, wherever you prefer.

Twitter can give a voice to even the weakest signals because of its simplicity. Users can access Twitter on powerful broadband connections via a video game console or through faint connections in rural areas via SMS on a simple mobile phone. You can also access Twitter through more than 50,000 third-party Internet and mobile applications.

Just remember, how you use Twitter is completely up to you. Follow hundreds of people. Follow a dozen. Post every hour. Post never. Search for your favorite topics and create lists. Or not. You are in control on Twitter.
Twitter for Businesses

Twitter is a simple tool that helps connect businesses more meaningfully with the right audience at the right time.

Businesses and organizations of all shapes and sizes are now able to stay connected to their customers. It can be used to quickly share information with people interested in your company, gather real-time market intelligence and feedback, and build relationships with customers, partners and other people who care about your business. Customers can use Twitter to tell a company (or anyone else) that they’ve had a great—or disappointing—experience with your business, offer product ideas, and learn about great offers they’ve selected to be notified of.

For real world tips and case studies from businesses that have effectively used Twitter to build their brand and connect more personally with their customers, check out Twitter 101 for Businesses, our guide to doing business on Twitter.

Where’s Twitter?

Twitter may be based in San Francisco, but it's used by folks in nearly every country in the world. So, we’re working quickly to add as many additional language options as we can.

Twitter now comes in French, German, Italian, Japanese, and Spanish thanks to the help of translators around the world. Users can change their language preference in their settings.

Twitter is also forging deals with the biggest telecom operators in the world to allow users to send and receive Twitter messages over SMS and MMS at no additional cost. Here’s a list of all the countries that offer Twitter via SMS.
Twitter on Your Phone

We think that those who are out and about experiencing the world have a lot to share. That’s why mobile has been in our DNA right from the start: The 140 character limit originated so tweets could be sent as mobile text messages which have a limit of 160 characters. Minus 20 characters for author attribution, that gives users just enough room.

Evolution of messaging:

Twitter is the evolution of mobile messaging, not replacing SMS, IM, or email but introducing a new public dimension to messaging.
Device integration

We are working closely with all of the major mobile phone manufacturers and platform providers to integrate Twitter throughout their devices. These partners believe that it makes their product more appealing if they include a pre-loaded Twitter application and give users the ability to tweet from the camera, maps, browser, media player and other contexts of the device.
The Twitter Ecosystem

As an aggressively open company, Twitter‘s success is dependent on the success of the developers in its ecosystem. Indeed, a majority of Twitter’s use comes through third-party applications that lets users tweet and read tweets wherever they choose.
In order to fulfill our goals as an information network, we work closely with developers and partners to help us create meaningful and varied experiences so that Twitter content could be created and consumed regardless of the mode or medium. From SMS to web apps to rich native applications on gaming consoles — users should be able to experience twitter in any form that works for them.
Fortunately, thousands of developers have taken advantage of Twitter’s open API to make more than 50,000 applications that run on all types of devices and Web services.
More can be found about our API here.
Twitter and the Community.

At Twitter, we often think about what it means to build a company today and our role in making our community and the world a better place. We believe that the open exchange of information can have a positive global impact and will actively work to support this principal in everything that we do.
This is a lofty goal for a San Francisco start-up. But, interestingly, we’ve found that this open exchange also has the impact of making the world a smaller, more attainable place.

We have actively supported improving the world’s water supply (Charity Water and; we turned our site red to promote World AIDS Day in 2009 and have partnered with Room to Read to promote literacy around the world through an initiative we call Fledgling that involves good wine and books.

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