Tag Archives: Twitter

7.4 Earthquake Hits Pakistan and India – Twitter Updates Report It First

A huge earthquake of 7.4 magnitude has hit Pakistan, Dubai and India. However, the updates about the Earthquake were first reported on . There has been a steady stream of Earthquake updates from my friends who reside in Pakistan, Dubai and Delhi, where the Earthquake was felt heavily.

Right now reports of the Earthquake suggest that there have been no damages done yet. If you are following or want to follow the updates on the Earthquake, you can do so by visit http://search.twitter.com/search?q=Earthquake or using Real Time updates from Google at this page.

Rest aside, apart from killing celebrities, Twitter is also hugely successful as a source for real news too.

BBC News has picked up on the news you can check it here.

Here is the exact location of the quake in Pakistan – thanks @amit_banerjee

Updates to follow…

How to Keep Kids Safe Online – Talk to Them

parent-childYou’ve heard about the danger. It’s out there in many places, such as Facebook, Twitter, Chat rooms, Texting, and File Sharing. What do you know about safe online practices? How can you help protect your kids?

According to many experts, the best thing you can do to protect your kids is to talk to them about internet safety. Two websites can help you and kids avoid the worst dangers on the web. You’ll find plenty of advice at On Guard Online and Net Smartz.

onguardonline top-ncmec netsmartz-logo

Below, I’ll offer a few tips I’ve found. However, if you have time, take a look at this video: Chatting with Kids About Being Online.

Chatting with Kids About Being Online

More videos from OnGuard Online

Videos from NetSmartz

Why do you need to talk to kids?

At NetSmartz, I ran into some survey stats from 2006, showing how important it is to influence your kids online behavior.

33% of 13- to- 17-year-olds reported that their parents or guardians know very littleor nothingabout what they do on the Internet.

48% of 16-17s said their parents or guardians know very littleor nothing.

Fully 22% of those surveyed reported their parents or guardians have never discussed Internet safety with them.

On the other hand, 36% of youth—girls and younger teens most notably—said that their parents or guardians have talked to them a lotabout online safety, and 70% said their parents or guardians have discussed the subject with them during the past year.

Most importantly:

Fewer teens whose families have talked to them a lotabout online safety have an IM name or pictures of themselves on the Internet, compared to kids whose families have not talked to them at all. More teens who’ve talked to parents or guardians also ignore messages from unfamiliar people, refuse to reply or chat, block unknown senders, and report these occurrences to trusted adults.

How can you get a conversation started?

I also found some good questions to get you started. (from NetSmartz)

Can I take a look at what you have been posting online?

Does anyone else have access to your passwords?

What information is okay to share online?

What information should you keep private?

What could someone learn about you from what you post online?

How might they use this information?

Have you ever regretted anything you posted online?

What advice should you give? What actions should you take?

I also found this advice at NetSmartz.

Make sure that your child takes advantage of the privacy settings on social networking sites.

Pre-approve the pictures and videos your child posts online.
Remind your child never to post e-mail addresses or cell phone numbers.

Tell your child that passwords should only be shared with parents and guardians.

Teach your child not to respond to any e-mails requesting personal information and to delete e-mails from unknown senders.

Discuss how to keep screen names and e-mail addresses gender-neutral, appropriate, and free of any information that could reveal identity.

Encourage your child to tell you right away if anything happens online that bothers or frightens him or her.

I’ve only covered a tiny part of the help and advice available to parents. Be sure to take a look.

On Guard Online / NetSmartz


Are Justin Bieber and Nelson Mandela Dead? No, It’s A Twitter Hoax

I have completely replaced my feeds with lists, and it helps me to keep up with updates without having to sift through content. I just click on news that I like and read it. In addition to that, Twitter has also become a great way to bring news faster to the masses. A recent example is the Tunisia updates which is being touted as a Twitter revolution, you can read up on all that at Techmeme.

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However, along with these wonderful things Twitter is doing, it is also becoming one of the biggest sources of hoaxes. Specially one’s which are connected to some big celebrity dying. In the past month I have seen three of them die (not literally) thanks to updates on Twitter. The most recent one is none other than South Africa’s Nelson Mandela and teen sensation Justin Bieber.

If you visit Twitter right now you will see "RIP JUSTIN BEIBER" and "RIP NELSON MANDELA" as the trending topics. This would give anyone an impression that these two individuals have been dead. This is  not the first time that this has happened on Twitter and not the last time this will happen.

In the past celebrities like Eminem, Matt Damon and Harrison Ford have died (fake) on Twitter and then have been resurrected. I am being a bit sarcastic here, but the thing is that just like a good cause, rumors can travel fast too on Twitter, putting fans and the so called dead celebrities at hassle.

Twitter had recently changed their algorithms for trending topics. That algorithm has been a reason why was not trending. However, Twitter needs work more towards filtering out such stupid rumors too. It is bad for everyone and will diminish Twitter’s authority when it comes to spreading real news.

Twitter Adds HTTPS Only Support

HTTPS is one of the most secure ways of sending and receiving content on the web. Many sites including and several other Google products make use of the HTTPS protocol, even Hotmail does it too.

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Though both and have had support for HTTPS for a long time now, they do not enforce HTTPS on users and instead allow them to type the URLs in the browser.

However, it looks like Twitter has now rolled out a new setting which allows users to Always user HTTPS. To enable this setting you can go to your profile and edit settings (or go to http://twitter.com/settings/account) and check the box next to “Always use HTTPS”.

If you think that HTTPS will slow down your experience, you might want to read an earlier post on how much impact Google saw when it shifted to using SSL.

(h/t @nspeaks)

Update: This feature seems to have been pulled off by Twitter now.

U.S. Orders Twitter to Hand Over WikiLeaks Private Messages

New information about a U.S. case against WikiLeaks has recently been revealed. The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) issued a secret subpoena to Twitter on December 14th. The subpoena orders Twitter Inc. to release private messages and other information about accounts owned by Julian Assange and others involved with WikiLeaks.

View the subpoena

The subpoena wasn’t public knowledge, because  Twitter was ordered not to reveal it, since it was “relevant to an ongoing criminal investigation“.   On January 5th,   the subpoena was unsealed due to legal pressure by Twitter.

Twitter declined to say much on the matter, except that its policy is to notify its users of government requests for information, when it can do so.

In a statement, Assange is quoted as saying If the Iranian government was to attempt to coercively obtain this information from journalists and activists of foreign nations, human rights groups around the world would speak out.

twitter2Twitter is based in San Francisco California, and it’s not likely that they would have responded to an information request from Iran. However, the U.S. DOJ has the legal authority to make Twitter cough up this data. It’s clear that Twitter will do so, despite their efforts to open it up to public review.

Google and Facebook have very likely received similar requests, but have not responded to reporters asking about this topic. It’s speculated that they’ve also gotten gag orders to remain quiet, but didn’t fight them as well as Twitter.

(Sources: TechCrunch, CBS News and others)

Best Social Web Browser For Twitter And Facebook

I use and a lot. In fact I spend more time than I would want to on those sites. Though I use for browsing Facebook and Twitter feeds, I feel a little bit of disconnect when the links I click open in a new browser window.

Layers Social Experience

I guess someone out there heard me, because I came across a really good for called Layers, which provides users with a connected Social web browsing experience. It is like the media integration Twitter has, but for everything and done in a better way.

Layers Social Web Browser

In a nutshell, Layers is a social web browser. It allows you to browse through your Facebook and Twitter feeds and allows you to preview links, videos and pictures without disconnecting you from the experience. In addition to that, it also allows you to like, comment and share content on Facebook and Retweet or reply to Twitter users from within their interface.

What Does Layers Do?

The Layers app for Google Chrome transforms the experience of surfing through the social web into an elegant, visual flow, providing users a beautiful way to get updates, view videos and share content.

  • Let it flow: See sites in a beautiful, flowing stream
  • Stop clicking.  Preview, and watch videos, maps and images in a single place
  • Connect. Watch what your friends are doing, saying and sharing on one channel
  • Discover. Find stuff you’ll love and related to stuff you already like
  • Stay up to date. Follow your favorite sites and blogs
  • Keep it simple. Get the most out of your social networks using only the options you need

As you can see, Layers tries to make the social experience better by providing you with a neat platform that rocks. In addition to adding Facebook and Twitter feeds you can also add RSS channels to layers and browse them within Layers. They are also planning to add support for so that you can read your feeds within Layers.

I have been using layers for less than a day now and totally love the experience. It is definitely one of the best I have seen and makes my social experience complete.

This is a highly recommended extension for anyone who has a Twitter or Facebook account and want to browse their feeds elegantly. Download Layers for Google Chrome.

Why Twitter Does Not Need Media Integration

I read a very interesting post written by Zee on The Next Web about Twitter adding media services. I found the entire article pretty interesting, however, I did not entirely agree with his statements there.

Of course, I wanted to write my thoughts as a comment on his post, but I really don’t comment on sites which require users to create an account for their websites. I feel it’s a good thing to exercise my thoughts out without having to go through the pains of getting it through.

So here are my thoughts (in more words) on why does not really require any media integration.

Twitter is not Facebook

Twitter is not , it is Twitter. The difference between Facebook and Twitter is simplicity. Facebook is so complicated, it requires users to get through the loops of learning how to upload pictures, upload videos and more. Twitter on the other hand was about “What are you doing” and now about “What’s happening?”

The reason Twitter exists even when Facebook is doing so well is because they are simple. A simple update like “I just woke up” and “Goodnight” does the job, you don’t have to worry about who is reading your updates, whether someone will feel bad or not and so on.

As per Zee’s recommendation, Twitter should also provide an option to upload pictures. Well, if you have to teach a user to upload pictures to the internet before they have used Twitter, that user is a noob, complete noob. I have seen 10-11 year old kids uploading photos, so this shouldn’t be as difficult as it sounds and it should definitely not be a feature in Twitter.

Photo and Video Sharing Services Have Twitter Integration

I clicked a photo and uploaded it to , or I recorded a video and uploaded it to . Now how do I get it to Twitter? Well there is a simple button out there to do the job, so it is not hard. Twitter is not about uploading, it is about sharing and almost each and service out there has Twitter and Facebook sharing option available.

So uploading videos, photos or what not does not require Twitter, because everything around it does it. I believe that almost every site I do anything on wants me to share it on Twitter (and Facebook), so it is about integration, not implementation.

Twitter IS KISS

The reason there are so many apps for Twitter is because it leaves the nitty-gritties out while keeping in the “Simple”. Twitter has lists, but apps like and Seesmic make them ever so important.

For the record, I hardly use the web interface on Twitter, because there are so many apps out there which do the job Twitter should have done. The Twitter web interface is so simple, that I am really lost around it. I can’t function without the apps I use to use Twitter.

Of course Twitter is aware of these apps, however, they know that they have to be simple enough to KISS. If they try too much, they will obviously be something what Facebook has already been doing for so long.

Apps like TwitPic and YFrog supplement Twitter. They allow users to share content without having to put a heck of an headache on Twitter and users who don’t want Twitter can use something else. Heck, I see imgur.com being used more than anything else on Twitter for images.

Twitter Can’t Kill The EcoSystem

URL Shorteners only came into existence because of Twitter, but they have almost become a primary way of sharing URLs on the internet. When Twitter decided to start using Bit.ly as their default , there was a big hue and cry. Heck, a company even folded up and resurrected because of this decision.

Now, Twitter dropped Bit.ly and went with their own URL shortener T.co, but without hampering with the ecosystem that existed around it. Imagine when Twitter comes up with their own image sharing service, what would happen to the others? They would revolt and stop doing business? Would they just shut shop because Twitter has the control over things? Would they develop new apps around Twitter?

I highly doubt that, because Twitter knows their importance. I share almost 20-30 pictures a week, and I hardly visit TwitPic to upload my pictures. It is all done through TweetDeck, so I am not even visiting either Twitter or TwitPic to upload pictures, but I get my message through. This is because of the ecosystem Twitter has, they will survive because of this, not without it.

Twitter spends a heck of a time keeping their service up, these value-added services will only add to their headaches. Right now they have the ecosystem worrying for that, I doubt that they will change their ways here.

Twitter Is About Real-Time Not My Marriage

The reason we see real-time topics on Twitter and sites like Google and Bing using their data to supplement results is because it is real-time. Bing uses Facebook data to show you recommendations based on your friends updates, so do many other sites. But when it comes to serious topics, Twitter results are often up there and do matter. Your cute cat picture or video would not make it to real-time search because that is what Twitter is, a steady stream of updates which is built up based on user input, not a meme on your cat.

Many of the trends on Twitter are demented, but none of them came from a video share. Of course, the New York plane crash (trend came through because of a picture shared by someone near the scene. Captain Sully anyone?), but the person who uploaded the picture used TwitPic or something, not Twitter, but got through with the message.

The main reason that message came through was the picture he uploaded, but it came through Twitter, not through the picture. If that person would have put his status somewhere else, that topic would not have got as much attention as it got.

Simple enough, you got a picture, upload it, post it to Twitter, if it is viral, it gets through. If not, it doesn’t. That is the power of Twitter, getting through the message not the media accompanying it. Heck, YouTube has videos which go viral without Twitter.

Twitter Is About Adapting, Lay People Or Celebs

Some of the top Twitter accounts, and several more are about followers not following. These people have millions of followers. Some of them are Hollywood and Bollywood actors who I am very sure never knew about uploading pictures, leave aside URLs. However, I see several of these users uploading pictures on TwitPic and YFrog and getting thousands of comments.

These people did need a lesson in uploading but they learnt it nevertheless. If a normal user is dumb, these guys are dumber because they rely on someone else do all their job, but the same people are aware of clicking a photo and uploading it to whichever service they want to.

They don’t need Twitter to fulfill their media needs?

Summarizing

Of course, we would want all social networks to upload pictures et al, but is it worth it? Well, I put my thoughts out here. It definitely does not make sense for Twitter to add media integration. Of course they do have media integration for third parties, but that does not mean that they should add all these services.

I loved Zee’s article, but I have been using Twitter since May 2007, way before many of you have used it. I use it because it is simple and easy to use, from wherever I want to. I would prefer to keep it that way. I would certainly not mind not having few people not using it because it is not Facebook, after all they have 220 million users.

(This article is incomplete, links and references will be up shortly)

Twitter’s Christmas Gift – Fail Whale

It’s Christmas and I guess many of the folks who work at might have had the day off. Alas it was a bad time for Twitter to go down. Yes Twitter’s Christmas gift to all the Twitter users and their staff itself is the infamous Fail Whale.

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The status blog was recently updated and said:

We’re currently experiencing some site availability issues; we’re looking into it now and will update when we have more information.

I guess we’ll have to take our Christmas Wishes to then.

Update: Some part of Twitter seems to be coming up. I can see the scripts that run on third-party sites pulling in Tweets.

Update 2: Twitter is back up now.

The Ups And Downs of the Silicon Valley in 2010

The Silicon Valley in 2010 has seen major profits flowing into most of the private companies to the extent that their net worth has doubled and trebled in some cases. Today, Facebook and Twitter are one of the fastest growing Internet companies and these reports are backed by stats and figures, all from inside sources. However, share trading of these private companies are limited to the private brokerage firms. So, what fuels this rise and are these figures accurate?

Most of these figures are mere speculations. They have a good chance of being only partly true because these are not public companies. News on these companies is spread through word of mouth. However, what is true is the fact that the revenues have indeed gone up. This is reflected in the number of visitors to these web-based services. An increase in users can be safely linked to an increase in revenue. Recently, Yahoo lost ground to Facebook over the Internet, which is a worldwide phenomenon. It was already topped from the position of the largest Internet company in the US a few days ago. This is further indication of the shady facts.

In a year when Facebook and Twitter are making profits rapidly, there are other companies as well who are facing a tough time. Yahoo has lost more market share and Digg, is reported to have lost around 70 million USD of net worth this year. Another company Groupon made a remarkable profit from a failed deal and has gone up to thrice its net worth, now at $3.7 billion USD. According to a report at Financial Times, the revenue of the top 10 private companies has gone up by around 50% in the last few months. In short, the year 2010 has been beneficial for all Silicon Valley giants.

Packrati.us Automatically Bookmarks Your Tweets On Delicious, So You Can Find Them Later

Do you tweet a lot of links all day long ?

Ever wondered whether there is any service which can automatically bookmark your Tweets that contain links?

Enter Packrati.us – a brilliant web service which makes bookmarking tweets as easy as child’s play. Using Packrati.us, you can bookmark all of your Tweets that contain links, can convert Twitter hashtags to Delicious tags and label a unique Delicious tag to each tweet. Everything on Autopilot.

Wait…. isn’t Delicious Shutting down? No It isn’t, the service will continue to run as earlier.

How To Bookmark Tweets That Contain Links In Your Delicious Account ?

Following are the steps involved to get started with Packrati.us and connecting the service with your Delicious account:

1. Head over to the Packrati.us homepage, and sign in with your Twitter account. After you have granted permissions, you will be asked to enter an email address where the service can send you future notifications.

2. Enter your email address and hit “Save and Continue”. Fall back to your email inbox and click the verification link to continue to the next step.

3. Now you will be asked to connect your Delicious accounts with Packarti.us. There are two types of Delicious accounts – the independent Delicious account and the older Delicious, which works with a valid Yahoo ID.

Make sure you choose the correct type of Delicious account or else the service won’t be able to bookmark the tweets. As for me, I have a yahoo linked Delicioius account, hence I chose the first option.

4. On the next page, hit the “Authorize” button.

5. All done, now you will be redirected to the Packarti.us page where you can tweak certain options as shown underneath:

There are basically 5 options which you may configure:

  • Expand URLs: Selecting this checkbox will automatically expand all the shortened links embedded in your tweet and post it to your Delicious account.
  • Replace Bookmarks: Self explanatory, selecting this checkbox will automatically remove the duplicate bookmarks from your Delicious account.
  • Convert Hashtags: This setting takes care of whether you want to convert Twitter hash tags to Delicious tags or not.
  • Remove These Tags: If you use a lot of hash tagged tweets, you may define some of the hash tags to be ignored by the Packarti.us service.
  • Add A particular tag: You may define a particular tag in this text box to make sure each link that that is sent via Packarti is accessible through that particular bookmark tag.

All done, but don’t forget to hit that “Save” button once you are done with the settings.

Now you can continue using Twitter and Delicious as before. Any of your tweets which contain a link will be autosaved as a bookmark in your Delicious account.

For example: I posted this tweet on Easter Egg In Google CR-48 Netbook and it was immediately sent to my Delicious account.

Techie Buzz Verdict

Lifesaving !

Using Packrati.us, I can automatically bookmark and archive all the links which I tweet everyday. Later I can simply export the bookmarks from Delicious and import it in Google Bookmarks or to my preferred browser.

Techie Buzz rating: 5/5 (Perfect).

Best Mobile Apps Of the Week for iOS, Android and Symbian – #3

Welcome to our third edition of the Best Mobile Apps Of The Week. This week we would like to introduce our readers to a very popular Twitter app for the iOS as well as for Android.  Along with that, we would introduce our readers to a very popular VOIP client for Symbian.

Here are the featured mobile apps of the week for , and :

Twitter (iOS)

for /  is the official twitter client from the company itself Twitter. The app has a very slick UI and I especially love the sliding panels’ UI feature in Twitter for iPad. The app also supports push notifications and inline media display. I have been using Twitter for iPad right on my iPad since the day it was launched. The app literally blows the competition away!

Twitter_for_iPad

iOS owners can download Twitter For iPad/iPhone from the App Store for free.

Skype (Symbian)

Skype is one of the most popular VOIP services out there. The company also has an official Skype client for all the major mobile OS including Symbian. Skype for Symbian allows users to make free calls to other Skype users anywhere in the world for free via Wi-Fi or 3G. It also allows Skype owners to chat for free.

Skype_Symbian

The company recently rolled out an updated version of Skype which supports the latest generation of Symbian phones like the Nokia N8, C7 and E5. The update also added SILK’ Skype’s own audio codec which helps improves voice quality on a low-bandwidth connection. Symbian owners can download Skype for their handset for free from here.

TweetDeck (Android)

is one of the most popular third party Twitter client for Windows. The app is also available for other major mobile platforms including Android. The Android version of TweetDeck has a great looking UI and functions really well. I personally switched to TweetDeck and have been using it ever since on my Galaxy S since the day it was released.

Tweetdeck_Android

The application also supports other major social networking sites like Facebook, Google Buzz and Foursquare. The application however does lack some features like no support for creating lists, no auto-fill while entering @username and some totally useless widgets. However, I am pretty sure the folks behind TweetDeck for Android will fix all these issues sooner than later. Android owners can download TweetDeck for free from the Android Market.

Backup And Save Your Favorite Tweets With Diigo

provides a way for users to favorite tweets they like. This provides users a good way to reference tweets they want to read later or also look back and read those tweets again.

Also Read: Find When Someone Favorites your Tweets on Twitter

Just like backing up your tweets and Twitter profile, you can also also choose to backup your Twitter favorites and store it someplace safe. The Twitter favorite backup service is provided by Diigo, one of the companies I am coming to love for their products which include a note taking and sticky notes for .

save_favorite_tweets

First off, you will require a new Diigo account to backup or save your Twitter favorites. Creating an account is simple, go ahead and register here. Once you have done that, log into Diigo and click on this link. On this page, you can now connect your Twitter account with Diigo and it will automatically save your twitter favorites to Diigo on a daily basis.

Once you have connected your accounts, you will be able to select whether you want to save all favorites or only favorites which contain links and whether those should be saved publicly or privately on Diigo. In addition to that Diigo will also convert those tweets into bookmarks or notes and can be organized using #hashtags.

P.S. You can also import your Delicious bookmarks to Diigo.

Twitter Revamps it’s Business Guide Page, Opens Door For Advertisers

Some good news for folks who have always wanted to use Twitter for advertising their businesses.

Twitter has released a revamped version of their business page at business.twitter.com/advertise/start. The page contains a simple form which companies may fill out in order to buy promoted accounts, promoted tweets or promoted trends.

If you are an advertiser who wants to advertise your products or Tweets on Twitter, you are asked to fill out the following details:

  • Your monthly budget which you wish to spend on advertising, ranging from $10,000 up to $1,00,000.
  • The Time period of the Twitter advertising campaign, ranging from one week to 3+ months
  • The country or location where you wish to advertise.
  • Whether you are interested to spend your advertising capital in promoted tweets, promoted trends or promoted accounts.

Next, enter some more details about your company or organization e.g campaigns, goals and hit the “Submit” button to send your request to the Twitter business team.

It appears that Twitter has finally opened it’s doors for advertisers and is now seriously planing to monetize the microblogging site after a life span of 4 years, from the day it was launched. In fact, Twitter is one of the few successfull social networking websites which remained ad free for such a long time.

On the left side of Twitter’s business page, there are quite a few links which outlines the basic guidelines, Twitter’s glossary and best practices. There is also the Widgets and Resources page along with Twitter’s API documentation where developers can take a peek and know the inside details of building application using the Twitter API.

Analytics is another tool which the advertisers are going to love.   Twitter’s analytics page offers an online dashboard where advertisers can see the real time metrics e.g retweets, clicks, replies, mentions and impressions. Advertisers will also have the ability to differentiate between paid an unpaid tweets.

Will Ads Affect The Open Nature Of Twitter?

Coming back to Twitter’s advertising model, only time will tell how the Twitter advertisements are going to affect the open nature of   information shared on Twitter. If the promoted tweets are geotargetted or match closely with the users interest, I don’t think the advertisements are going to affect user behavior to a huge extent.

Think of the other forms of online advertising – Google Adsense, Chitika etc all help advertisers “sell” products and help publishers monetize their web properties. These ad networks have stayed since a decade and almost every other website is using it. So why should Twitter stay behind and at the end of the day – every company has the right to monetize it’s platform.

Ask yourself -” Will you write a blog, run a service or sell some product for free? Lifelong ?

My honest answer is – No I won’t, especially when millions are using my product to promote their own business or service – I have the right to monetize it.

Jason Falls, an expert social media marketing consultant told ReadWriteWeb

“Selling trending topics is like gaming Digg,”

“Twitter is inviting marketing money bags to completely ruin the organic nature of the tool. When I look at something like that, I tell clients, ‘They’re just whores for your money.’ It’s obvious they’re making Facebook-like errors to try and compensate for the fact they never had a business model in mind when they built this thing.”

Twitter Has 224 Million Users, Adds 100 Million Users This Year

seems to be on a roll to reach a big milestone in the coming year. As of today Twitter has said that they have added more than 100 million users this year alone. Some notable joiners to Twitter this year include @billgates, @tigerwoods and @cher.

Twitter Logo

So how much is Twitter’s total user base? Roughly around 224 million users. To figure this out I used Twitter’s API to request user information and I was able to get information for users up-to 224,789,500. You can do view the information by visiting this link http://api.twitter.com/1/users/show.xml?user_id=224789500.

So is Twitter quickly catching up with ? Not exactly, Facebook has over 500 million users and Twitter is yet to get halfway there, but the growth it has shown in the past year or so has been tremendous. If Twitter continues to grow at this pace it wouldn’t catch up with Facebook, however, they should definitely be able to reach somewhere near the 400 million users by next year.

Please note that there might be a discrepancy on whether this ID is an actual incremental number in the database or not, however, I was able to create two users to confirm that they were indeed getting incremental.

Test User 1 was assigned the ID 224788434 – http://api.twitter.com/1/users/show.xml?user_id=224788434

Test User 2 was assigned the ID 224789253 – http://api.twitter.com/1/users/show.xml?user_id=224789253

As you can see this shows that Twitter is actually incrementing this number. You can also browse all the IDS by numbers too, so these indicated that the profile numbers are actually the Twitter user counts.

P.S. Ev’s Twitter Account ID is 20 http://api.twitter.com/1/users/show.xml?user_id=20 and Biz’s is 13 http://api.twitter.com/1/users/show.xml?user_id=13.

Hotot – The Best Native Twitter Client For Linux

There are quite a few twitter clients for Linux some native ( Gwibber, choqoK, Qwit) others based on Adobe Air ( Tweetdeck, twihrl, DestroyTwitter ). However, I’m not entirely happy with most of them. The problem with Air based clients is that they often bog down the system or just look.. different in Linux. When it comes to native clients Gwibber seems just too buggy, and choqoK & Qwit don’t exactly have the best looking UI. Hotot is poised to change this scene.

Hotot is an soon-to-be-released twitter client being actively developed by Shellex and few other developers. What makes this project even intriguing is the variety of languages used for developing Hotot uses a combination of Python, JavaScript with the GTK toolkit & WebKit. The result is one fantastic looking application.

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Hotot features the standard tabs the main timeline, mentions, direct messages & a search pane for looking up on profiles & other general searches.

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Activating each of these tabs results in a slick sliding transition which makes you click on the tabs every few minutes. Even better is that each of these tabs features threaded replies ( which you can expand/collapse), inline display of media and other features which most twitter clients skimp on – such as Reply To All, old-style retweets, ReTweets (including your tweets, retweeted by others).

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To make things even better Hotot has support for extensions, supports native desktop notifications in both Gnome & KDE SC, extensively customizable and is open source.

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Hotot is currently at version 0.9, and should be out soon. If you’re itching to try it out do check the instructions here to see how you can install it. Trust me, it’s worth the install.