I suspect this is going to be the next Web thing to blow up big. It’s called Twitter, the brainchild of the boys over at Obvious. They announced the other day that Twitter is making the leap to be its own company, to be called, appropriately enough, Twitter, Inc. Congratulations are in order for the dudes behind this.
What is Twitter? It’s an open communications tool that you’ll be comprehending soon enough. It’s still in its infant stages (with a gawdawfully ugly interface, but let’s hang in there while they sort that out), so go get your name now while it’s still there. (Remember how you forgot to do so with that thing called MySpace?)
What is Twitter, and how does it work? Good questions. From their FAQ:
What is it?
Twitter is a community of friends and strangers from around the world sending updates about moments in their lives. Friends near or far can use Twitter to remain somewhat close while far away. Curious people can make friends. Bloggers can use it as a mini-blogging tool. Developers can use the API to make Twitter tools of their own. Possibilities are endless!
Ok… so how does it work?
You can send updates in three ways: send a text message from your mobile phone, type a message from the Twitter site, or instant message from AIM, Jabber or Gtalk. Start by texting the word help to 40404 if you’re in the United States. For international Twitters, use +44 7781 488126. If you’re from Canada or Australia– we have different numbers. Write us and we’ll give you yours.
I finally hooked this thing up yesterday and am already geeked on the idea. It’s taking things to a new level now, opening up new possibilities (real and implied), and making the whole blogging thing more convenient. I particularly love the idea of posting via a text message with your cell phone, or with instant messaging software like GTalk.
Once you’re set up with Twitter, you become part of the community and all your posts are included on what they’re calling the “Public timeline”. The Twitter site then serves as a community site for you to connect with friends, follow their moments, and have them follow yours.
But there’s more to it. Have you’re own Web site? Cool. On Twitter, you can grab what’s called a “Badge” and integrate it into your own site. (Mine’s in the right column of this page, under the Additives.) Your most recent tweets will be dynamically pulled from the Twitter servers and posted on your site. For instance, if I were to send a text message to Twitter from my cell phone while, say, riding Space Mountain, the text message would be converted to a tweet and posted on this site in my Badge. (And God knows we all have a need for that.)
Welcome to the future. Again.