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Posted
30 May 2008 @ 12am

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Twitter’s Got Answers

It’s nice to see that Twitter is really getting serious about opening up and giving us more of an insight into it’s inner working. If there is any way for Twitter to restore some of the goodwill it lost during it’s far too many outages, it’s posts like this one today on the Twitter Technology blog, where the team answers questions about it’s architecture (like Ruby and Rails).

Here is one that I think is important for everybody to remember, because it not only explains why Twitter is having so many issues, but also points to where the future of Twitter is:

In the same vein, Nicholas asks what we thought we were building from day one if not a messaging system. I wasn’t at Twitter from day one, but my understanding is that Twitter started as a one-day project to explore sharing status via SMS that rapidly took on a life of its own. That Twitter would eventually evolve into a messaging system in its own right wasn’t conceptualized from the get-go.

I gather that this is a good lesson to learn for start-ups, too. It was Twitter’s API that turned it from an SMS messaging service into a chat-room.

If you open yourself up and let developers play with your toys, you never know where things will go.

That said, as I have said before, I think Twitter needs to get back to its roots and start thinking about getting back on the SMS track. That’s where there is still money to be made for them and where they can legitimately start charging for premium services.

p.s. MG Siegler has a good take on another of the answers which seemingly blames the Twitter users with too many followers (=Scoble) for their problems.