Tag Archive: Mashable


On April 9th Mashable.com reported that Twitter Acquired Tweetie, however this evening when I checked for app updates on my iPhone I found Tweetie 2 had an update with a “Surprise!”.

When I launched the app and refreshed my timeline I found a new working “Slot Machine” addition. Below are two screen shots of this little Easter Egg of sorts, and below my screen shots is the full Mashable article on the acquisition of Tweetie.

Twitter has just announced that it has acquired Atebits, the company behind the popular Tweetie iPhone app and Mac desktop application.

Tweetie’s creator, Loren Brichter, will be joining the Twitter team as well. The app will be renamed “Twitter for iPhone” and be made free in the next few weeks. Twitter CEO Evan Williams explained the move in a blog post:

“We’re thrilled to announce that we’ve entered into an agreement with Atebits (aka Loren Brichter) to acquire Tweetie, a leading iPhone Twitter client. Tweetie will be renamed Twitter for iPhone and made free (currently $2.99) in the iTunes AppStore in the coming weeks. Loren will become a key member of our mobile team that is already having huge impact with device makers and service providers around the world.”

Twitter also specifically mentions that an official Twitter iPad app is indeed coming: “Developers, services, and publishers will be able to leverage the Twitter iPhone and iPad applications to create additional innovative tools and integrations for users,” Williams said in today’s announcement.

The move comes less than a week after a controversial blog post from Twitter investor Fred Wilson, Principal of Union Square Ventures. In it, Wilson explained that he is looking for Twitter apps to not fill holes in the Twitter platform (e.g. photo sharing, mobile apps) and instead focus on innovative products and “killer apps.” The post caught the attention of developers, who feared that Twitter itself would begin competing with their applications.

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On August 1, 1981, at 12:01 a.m., MTV: Music Television launched this new form of media with the words “Ladies and gentlemen, rock and roll,” spoken by John Lack. This was appropriately followed by the first music video, “Video Killed the Radio Star” by The Buggles. That can easily be seen as the definitive change in how a large portion of society interacted with music…because viewing a music video is agreeably an interactive experience. The sights, the musical metaphors played out on screen causing the connection to the artist that much more visceral.

So it shall be with print media…

Those remotely familiar with the humble beginnings of Twitter would agree it was an “in like a lamb” scenario. What began as a “daylong brainstorming session” in 2006 that was held by board members of Odeo, a podcasting company, to break their collective creative slump, Twitter was born. The father of the fledgling “Twitter” is 33 year old Jack Dorsey, an American  software architect and businessperson, had introduced the idea of an individual using an SMS service to communicate with a small group.

Speaking on the inception of “Twitter”, Dorsey says:

The working name was just “Status” for a while. It actually didn’t have a name. We were trying to name it, and mobile was a big aspect of the product early on … We liked the SMS aspect, and how you could update from anywhere and receive from anywhere.

We wanted to capture that in the name—we wanted to capture that feeling: the physical sensation that you’re buzzing your friend’s pocket. It’s like buzzing all over the world. So we did a bunch of name-storming, and we came up with the word “twitch,” because the phone kind of vibrates when it moves. But “twitch” is not a good product name because it doesn’t bring up the right imagery. So we looked in the dictionary for words around it, and we came across the word “twitter,” and it was just perfect. The definition was “a short burst of inconsequential information,” and “chirps from birds.” And that’s exactly what the product was.

According to the most recent figures released, Twitter has 105 million registered users — and counting! So while “Twitter” entered the media scene like a lamb, it has become a lion with no signs of exiting. Twitter is used by everyone from the arbitrary youth as a conversational tool to major brands for advertising and news agencies as a means of immediately distributing breaking stories.

I personally am not a huge fan of raw statistics but Mashable.com recently rolled out some that are too compelling to overlook. Based on a sample of 2,259 adults, of those who find news online 75% get it either forwarded through e-mail or posts on social networking sites, and half of them (52%) forward the news through those means.

According to the report, 59% of those surveyed get news from a combination of online and offline sources. 7% are getting information from a single media platform and 46% of Americans claim they get news from four to six media platforms on a typical day. When you drill it down even more:

  • 78% of Americans say they get news from a local TV station
  • 61% of users get news online
  • 17% (yes, that few) claim they read news in a national newspaper such as The New York Times or USA Today

These numbers are in constant flux because the more advances made in means of online delivery fewer and fewer people actually defer to physical print media.

So how does Twitter fit into all of this? With many news agencies dictating that it’s journalists must utilize social media platforms such as Twitter. For example, Peter Horrocks, the new director of BBC Global, has informed all of the BBC news journalists to use social media as a primary source of information. Horrocks said it was important for editorial staff to make better use of social media and become more collaborative in producing stories.

In Ariel, the weekly in-house staff newspaper for the BBC, Horrocks said:

This isn’t just a kind of fad from someone who’s an enthusiast of technology. I’m afraid you’re not doing your job if you can’t do those things. It’s not discretionary.

In Reuters’ “Handbook of Journalism”, there is a section on “Reporting from the Internet and using social media” that includes the do’s and don’ts of Twitter use. For example:

There are several ways in which Reuters News journalists are using Twitter to micro-blog as part of their professional duties:

  • Specialist journalists use Twitter to share articles and build up a following (see twitter.com/reutersBenHir and twitter.com/bobbymacReports)
  • Online Editorial staff and bloggers use Twitter to distribute news and solicit reader comment (see twitter.com/mediafile, twitter.com/Reuters_FluNews and twitter.com/reuters_co_uk)
  • Reuters journalists are using Twitter during live events such as Davos and to solicit questions for newsmaker interviews

With every major news agency utilizing new media to disseminate breaking news, continuing stories, and every inconsequential piece of information imaginable what will happen to those agencies who opt out of using platforms like Twitter or Facebook…Well, I’ll let Trevor Horn explain it in song.