42 Comments

Summary:

Dodgeball is so New York! In Silicon Valley, its all Twttr! Twttr is a new mobile social networking application written by Noah Glass (and team), an Odeo-guy, a long time compadre of Blogger founder Ev Williams. (Twttr is a side project.) It is not a very […]

Dodgeball is so New York! In Silicon Valley, its all Twttr!

Twttr is a new mobile social networking application written by Noah Glass (and team), an Odeo-guy, a long time compadre of Blogger founder Ev Williams. (Twttr is a side project.) It is not a very complicated application – and which is what makes it so addictive and at the same time annoying.

Twttr has married Short Code Messaging, SMS with a way to create social groups. By sending a text message to a short code (for TWTTR) you can send your location information, your mood information or whatever and share it with people who are on your social-mob! Best part – no installation necessary!

Jason Goldman, Blogger product manager calls is presence tense blogging. (Pyra, the company behind Blogger that Ev started did not start doing blogging software. A mutation of Odeo in the near future?) Glass, says that it started off as a conversation between him and Jack Dorsey, “in a car parked on Valencia and 14 in san francisco” after a night of Vodka drinking!

While I was smoking/talking outside the Zoomr/Valleyschwag party last night, I was introduced to Glass by Nitin Borwankar, a good pal of mine. “It’s presence+real world status over text messaging,” he said. Glass added me to his group, and now my damn Nokia E61 is twttring all the time. Ross Mayfield invited me to his group, and we are off to the races. Who else is on this .. not saying. It is spreading like a virus, and it is very viral.

The annoying SMS messages from nocturnal friends is not the only thing which bothers me about this service, but also the fact, that the texting a message(reply) to twttr ends up on their website. Best thing is to allow users to create micro groups, and give users the options of picking topics and setting rules to maintain privacy and control over the service. If Glass can do that, well, it be pretty awesome.

“Then it can also be adapted for keeping distributed teams in sync,” says Nitin, who is one sharp cookie., “Unlike, IM, text is lightweight, ubiquitous and viral.” Also, no smart phones required! (PS: You can put it on your Live Journal, MySpace page and blog as well!)

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  1. Nicolas Toepr Saturday, July 15, 2006

    Hi,

    To me it sounds a lot like what Freever is doing in Europe with all carriers.

    (disclaimer: Freever is now part of Buongiorno, a company where I work at)

  2. oh cool. we should compare both the services

  3. I think what annoys me the most about this article is there seems to be a band of people up North that love promoting each other’s products. This only annoys me because I live in Los Angeles and I desperately want to be a part of the “in” crowd. :(

    I guess I have to be content with whoring my mobile social application out to Suri.

  4. I can surmise two things: either you all have too much time on your hands or you need to grow up.

  5. Alex Klymov Sunday, July 16, 2006

    With the T-Mobile SMS in/out prices (unlike Europe) they were no doubt very happy with this new service.

  6. Aneil Weber Sunday, July 16, 2006

    It looks like the Odeo guys are on a roll, they also released Hellodeo.com recently.

  7. These blogs are almost beginning to feel like press statements for the startups. There is very little real analysis and they all just seem to write what their buddies want them to write about their companies. Shame…

  8. Would be interesting to see how this would impact the Indian market where SMS is so common and access to IM isn’t. Already a lot of interesting things happening in SMS. I already get a half a dozen marketing/status messages on SMS a day.

    Seen a lot of group SMS already and given there are CUG(Closed User Groups) already this could be directly extended to that..maybe?

  9. I am a big fan of the power and viral nature of SMS-based services (see recent post in my blog about good old 4INFO).

    That said, what’s the differentiator for twttr? Isn’t it basically dodgeball-lite? As best I can tell, it lacks the “you’re in proximity to peeps” feature of dodgeball, which IMO is killer. Granted, twttr works anywhere in the states or Canada, whereas dodgeball is currently limited to certain cities (unfortunately, not including mine). But that’s a problem that dodgeball can address, and then where’s twttr?

    I must be missing the innovation on this(?).

    1. Do you still feel this way?

  10. I don’t get why there is all this incest love among certain people. The Odeo folks are perfect examples.

    They spend all their time at “in” parties. Do random stuff ’cause it is cool. They haven’t done anything with their core product, while more scrappy and focused players like http://www.zapzap.com and http://www.pluggd.com close the gap on them.

    Lame post Om.

  11. bill,

    you bring up an interesting point and i have to agree with you – not much in terms of innovation per se. what i see it as an on-the-go blogging tool, which needs to installation whatsoever. i think there needs to be major improvement in the presence-information system for it to really have a long term impact.

    i think it is a good idea, which now others can improve upon.

  12. Mike Johnston Monday, July 17, 2006

    I am a bit bias on this subject however… SMS/TXT Message is so 2005…

    http://www.mocial.com

    That’s where the rubber meets the road.

  13. Doesn’t something like this already exist and it’s called Dodgeball and it’s a Google side project???

  14. MP, Dodgeball only is available in a handful of cities. twttr isn’t tied to a geographic area.

    In general I think this is a pretty cool service. It would be best with small groups of people that hang out with eachother a lot. I would probably want 4-5 people in mine. By default messages no longer get posted online (for the public) which is nice.

    This should have been something MySpace launched. It is a natural extension of what people are doing on MySpace and would be something a lot of users would enjoy for a subset of their friends list. Sort of like there is a top 8 now, just drag some of your friends into your ‘phone list’ and bam you’re hooked into the matrix.

  15. MobileTracker Tuesday, July 18, 2006

    twttr launches as social networking over SMS…

    Podcasting startup Odeo launched a mobile focused side project dubbed twttr this weekend. The free service brings social networking features to regular SMS. Unlike Dodgeball, twttr is not limited to a select set of cities. twttr is accessible through t…

  16. I think you’ve nailed it with your comment that “This should have been something MySpace launched”, Jon.

    I’m starting to understand the many copycat mobile soc-net sites popping up…acquisition targets, anyone?

  17. Bill, I think you’re right about acquisition targets. Social networking can be a killer app for mobile, it just hasn’t been done right (enough) to get traction in the US market. Helio has a mobile version of MySpace, but it’s no more interesting than the desktop version–it’s just not full of crap stylesheets.

    From what I’ve heard, the big carriers are all worried about getting bad press over stalkers abusing mobile social net services, which is why MySpace had to go with a MVNO. But to be successful on the mobile side you don’t have to duplicate a desktop experience. In fact I’d wager that you can’t duplicate the desktop and be successful. If I’m on my phone, I don’t want to search around for people I don’t know (way too time consuming), I want to connect with the people I already do know. It’s a perfect addition to an existing social service, such as MySpace.

    That being said, MySpace has its hands full and hasn’t exactly been innovative in the past, so it’s not something I expect from them. Maybe Murdoch can get out his wallet again and buy the innovation, but I’m not exactly holding my breath. They haven’t even launched a decent advertising program yet, so I’m sure this is really far down the queue.

  18. Pocket.Net – Mobile 2.0 Friday, March 16, 2007

    Twitter, Misunderstood?…

    Twitter , one of the first offerings from Ev Williams’ Obvious Corp ., crossed the chasm and became passe…

  19. Twitter’s New VC Round: Red Hot – GigaOM Wednesday, May 21, 2008

    [...] is obvious is that VCs are obsessed with the San Francisco-based company that started out as a way to group alert friends via SMS, but now has become a communications tool and microblogging service. Several feeder start-ups that [...]

  20. Enterprise Blog » Blog Archive » Twitter Raises $15million Through Venture Capital Thursday, May 22, 2008

    [...] of October 2007. “What is obvious is that VCs are obsessed with the company that started out as a way to group alert to friends via SMS but now has become a communications tool and microblogging service. Several feeder startups that [...]

  21. A Brief History of Twitter Sunday, February 1, 2009

    [...] me Twitter, back when it was known as Twttr, at a party in SOMA in San Francisco. That very night I wrote a short blogpost about the service: Twttr has married Short Code Messaging, SMS with a way to create social groups. By sending a text [...]

  22. Twitter Turns Three Saturday, March 21, 2009

    [...] on side projects. The comments to that post are pretty entertaining as well. See what my friend Om Malik had to say about them that day as [...]

  23. As It Turns Three, What Is Twitter To You? Saturday, March 21, 2009

    [...] the third birthday of the service that everyone is tweeting about. It was three years ago that a chance meeting with Noah Glass led me to write about Twitter aka [...]

  24. Twitter er tre år Saturday, March 21, 2009

    [...] fra mobiltelefon til Twttr. Det begynte i det små, men spredde seg som virus etter at bloggere som Om Malik skrev om fenomenet i midten av juli 2006 og Techcrunch 15 juli samme år. Techcrunch omtalte [...]

  25. The little Twitter is 3 years old | The Internet Database Saturday, March 21, 2009

    [...] on side projects. The comments to that post are pretty entertaining as well. See what my friend Om Malik had to say about them that day as [...]

  26. Twitter Turns Three | Reviews Manual Saturday, March 21, 2009

    [...] on lateral projects. The comments to that place are pretty diverting as well. See what my someone Om Malik had to say most them that period as [...]

  27. Twitter trounces the terrible twos, turns three » VentureBeat Saturday, March 21, 2009

    [...] briefly covered it in July of that year, in a roundup of interesting startups. (Both TechCrunch and GigaOM also covered it back then.) The original idea was as a sort of mass-texting service. You sent a [...]

  28. Twitter trounces the terrible twos, turns three » VentureBeat Saturday, March 21, 2009

    [...] briefly covered it in July of that year, in a roundup of interesting startups. (Both TechCrunch and GigaOM also covered it back then.) The original idea was as a sort of mass-texting service. You sent a [...]

  29. Twitterが3歳に Sunday, March 22, 2009

    [...] Twitterのニュースが初めて報じられたのは2006年7月で、当時はtwttr(上の画像が最初に使われたロゴ)と呼ばれていた(後に、ジョークだったと知った)。私はこのサービスに関する最初の記事を読むのが大好きで、そこで私が「一種の『グループ配信』SMSアプリケーションである。一人一人が自分専用の友人ネットワークを制御する。」と解説している。私は、「単純だがバイラルなアイディアを画期的かつ優れた形で実現した」として賞賛しつつ、なぜ、ポッドキャスティングの会社であるOdeoが、副業に無駄な時間を費しているのか疑問を呈していた。その記事へのコメントも実に楽しい。私の友人であるOm Malikが当時どう言っていたか も見てほしい。 [...]

  30. Twitter Turns Three « shankarsoma; Change the View Sunday, March 22, 2009

    [...] on side projects. The comments to that post are pretty entertaining as well. See what my friend Om Malik had to say about them that day as [...]

  31. Valuable companies come from companies that weren’t « These two cents by Emile Cambry Jr Tuesday, March 24, 2009

    [...] distribution platforms created, but if you look at all of the comments about the launch, even from the pundits, you see that the initial reactions were much less than favorable.  If he would have stopped there [...]

  32. Jason Miller Monday, June 8, 2009

    I just found this article from Twitter. Ironic.
    It is very weird to look back at how things began to go viral.

  33. Twitter – wie alles begann « gravima – Agentur für Gravitationsmarketing Wednesday, February 3, 2010

    [...] erzählt Noah Glass einige Wochen später die “Twittr-Story”. Om Malik beschreibt in seinem Blog Gigacom die Idee Dorseys damals in einem Satz: „Twttr has married Short Code [...]

  34. Whatever Happened to Web 2.0? – GigaOM Thursday, March 18, 2010

    [...] For me, it’s been a trip to re-adopt my former web beat on GigaOM after spending a few years writing for our sister site NewTeeVee. I made the leap to the world of web video in the fall of 2006, when YouTube had just been bought, Facebook had just opened to the general public, and only a few people cared about a little service called Twittr. [...]

  35. Twttr redirecting to Twitter?

  36. Twitter is Now Four Years Old, Happy Birthday! « ResourceShelf Sunday, March 21, 2010

    [...] From July, 2006, Om Malik’s First Article About Twitter Amazing that Twitter was a side project for Ev Williams and others while their primary work was on [...]

  37. Twttr is so awesome!

  38. Twitter and the Power of Keeping Things Simple – GigaOM Monday, March 22, 2010

    [...] said it was cool but also looked like it could be really annoying, and that it was really simple, and appeared to be [...]

  39. Twttr For Your MySpace! | Tosh.0 Blog Tuesday, March 23, 2010

    [...] was tweeting to their hearts delight, a few brave souls were "twttng." What's that? It's Twitter in 2006! Doesn't that seem forever [...]

  40. Twttr For Your MySpace! | Trendy Gossip Wednesday, March 24, 2010

    [...] was tweeting to their hearts delight, a few brave souls were "twttng." What's that? It's Twitter in 2006! Doesn't that seem forever [...]

  41. GigaOM: Four Years & Counting Monday, July 5, 2010

    [...] years ago, there was no Gilt Group, no Groupon and no Foursquare. Twitter was still spelled Twttr. And the big tech magazines still carried considerable weight. Four years later, things are [...]

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