Exploration By Brian Klug Presentation Overview: High level overview (Presentation, Message Syntax) Communication Paradigms (SMS, Web, API, e.t.c.) API

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  • Exploration By Brian Klug Presentation Overview: High level overview (Presentation, Message Syntax) Communication Paradigms (SMS, Web, API, e.t.c.) API Ease of Use (Spidering, Search, Aggregation) Growth and Future (Stats, Trends, Goals) Case Studies (Iran, Michael Jackson, AT&T)
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  • Exploration 140 character or less microblog updates or tweets about almost any subject Encourages high frequency updates on subjects limited to the context of 140 characters. Concise, short, granular, timestamped. Described as SMS of the Web Service is unique cross section of Instant Messaging, Blogging, and public Forums and creates a new niche Updates arent limited to a particular subject, but can be personal in nature, from celebrities (@aplusk), about news (@nytimes) or media (@cnnbrk), events, for customer support (@comcastcares) and PR (@ATTNews), for marketing and advertising, and even automated (@tweetawatt)@aplusk@nytimes@cnnbrk@comcastcares@ATTNews@tweetawatt Real-time search functionality Allows one to watch real-time a particular topic, a popular subject, or search Aims to be Pulse of the Planet http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/07/16/twitters-internal-strategy-laid-bare-to-be-the-pulse-of-the-planet/ 2 What is Twitter?
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  • Exploration Typical User View (CEO of Twitter) Web View is shown Note that this is often not how most people actually use the service, but more on that later 3 High Level Overview - Presentation Status Updates User Bio and following/follower counts @[user] indicates response to other user Via @[user] (or RT @[user) indicates a re-tweet. The user chooses to repeat something of note/interest.
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  • Exploration Typical Home View Example user (AiLab) Fictitious, created solely to demonstrate common syntax and functionality 4 High Level Overview - Presentation Update field, where one updates with a new status Update with a link to latitude and longitude google maps of present location Posts can link to images taken directly from mobile devices Using a #[tag] example to make it easier for other posters searching to find this topic Topics (hash tags) becoming popular based on volume Other users tweets show up in my timeline threaded with my updates Clicking brings us to Google maps Clicking brings us to TwitPic to see the image
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  • Exploration Huge variety in clients Updates via SMS Texts Huge variety of 3 rd party client applications (>250 according to http://twitdom.com/) iPhone OS BlackBerry OS Windows Mobile Nokia Symbian Palm Pre - WebOS All Desktop OSes Directly to API from command line RSS feeds Automated triggered programs Directly from browser (Firefox, etc) Media Players, Entertainment Consoles (Xbox 360, PS3, e.t.c. coming soon) 5 API allows 3 rd party apps/use
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  • Exploration More than half of all tweets are published from mobile devices Take-away: this makes the service natively ubiquitous and empowers users to discuss things happening around them in real-time, often with media such as pictures and geolocation tags. 6 Mobile Use is Key to Growth
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  • Exploration 1-line Bash+Curl update posting curl --basic --user username:password --data status="Having fun with cURL" http://twitter.com/statuses/update.xml http://twitter.com/statuses/update.xml Extremely open, documented API http://apiwiki.twitter.com/Twitter-API-Documentationhttp://apiwiki.twitter.com/Twitter-API-Documentation Search, Trends (Current/Daily/Weekly), Statuses (Public, Friends, User, Mentions), Social Graph data (array of UserIDs a user is following), all returned from API Rate Limiting Two APIs REST API (Core Twitter Data: Timelines, Status, User info) Limited to 150 API calls/hour Search API (Direct access to Twitter Search and Trends data) Not Published: The number is quite a bit higher We do not give the exact number because we want to discourage unnecessary search usage. Streaming/firehose API Access to real-time data is available on request, however, it is in infancy (Alpha testing). Obviously the sheer volume of data is nontrivial enough to require special provisions for access. http://apiwiki.twitter.com/Streaming-API-Documentation 7 API makes it easy to gather data
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  • Exploration Searching Twitter for a string http://apiwiki.twitter.com/Twitter-Search-API-Method%3A-searchhttp://apiwiki.twitter.com/Twitter-Search-API-Method%3A-search Query Syntax: http://search.twitter.com/search.format EG: http://search.twitter.com/search.atom?q=twitterhttp://search.twitter.com/search.atom?q=twitter Format: JSON or ATOM (XML) Also location aware based on user-defined location (updated either via location aware client like iPhone or manually) http://search.twitter.com/search.atom?geocode=40.757929%2C- 73.985506%2C25kmhttp://search.twitter.com/search.atom?geocode=40.757929%2C- 73.985506%2C25km Returns tweets by users located within a given radius of the given latitude/longitude 8 Twitter API Examples
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  • Exploration Feasible Methodologies 1: Leverage the generous Search API rate limits and search wildcards which return as large a percentage of the current posted tweets as possible, store in database. 2: Attempt to gain access to Firehose/Streaming API and monitor real- time twitter stream, simply store all we can in database Primary Benefits Identity of each update already provided by unique UserID Identity tracking is trivial save some users who have duplicate accounts Users have already collectively decided on a schema for passing-on and tracking topics/ideas with #[tags] and @[replies]. Finding where a idea or key point started is almost trivial given each updates timestamp. Clear social network graph relevancy API provides clean and completely sanctioned access to user generated tweets and trending information Huge user base cross section demographic (age, location, language, socioeconomic status) Fast update frequency (10-20 thousand tweets/minute) 9 Spidering Twitter
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  • Exploration Hundreds of sites leveraging Twitter API to deliver data, mashups, user stats, trending news, e.t.c. TweetMeme.com Aggregation of most popular and RTed links on Twitter based on different categories. Effectively a link mining app for delivering news that is trending in popularityTweetMeme.com Twist.flaptor.com Graphical volume trends of the trending topics on twitter and examples of realtime tweets which reference themTwist.flaptor.com Search.twitter.com The most obvious and robust, delivers realtime stream of tweets with matching hashtags, links, or topics based on a standing search.Search.twitter.com ReTweet mappers (very many): ReTweet Mapper, retweet radar, ReTweetist, Twidentify All provide either graphical or statistical ways to analyze which topics people find most worth spreading.ReTweet Mapperretweet radarReTweetist Twidentify 10 Twitter Stats via API - examples
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  • Exploration Because of 140 character limitation, link shortening services have exploded in popularity Idea is to use a redirect to shorten an otherwise long URL to a short one EG http://ai.arizona.edu/gallery/people/endSem/spring2007/IMG_5388.JPG -> http://is.gd/2boCmhttp://ai.arizona.edu/gallery/people/endSem/spring2007/IMG_5388.JPGhttp://is.gd/2boCm Started with Tinyurl.com in 2002 before Twitter Originally to purposefully obfuscate destination links. Abused frequently for pranks (rickrolling, shock images), spam or malware distribution. Now popularized for character-limited applications. Growing concern for Great Linkrot Apocalypse http://joshua.schachter.org/2009/04/on-url-shorteners.html Relevant takeaway Huge opportunity to monetize link mining through shortening services Official Twitter link shortening service bit.ly already employing data mining on links for news and for-sale to marketing Already possible to track stats on shortened click-through URLs by appending a + to the URL (eg bit.ly/info/44u4E+)bit.ly/info/44u4E+ http://www.wired.com/epicenter/2009/07/twitter-url-service-bitly-says-no-to-ads-yes-to-data- mining-news/http://www.wired.com/epicenter/2009/07/twitter-url-service-bitly-says-no-to-ads-yes-to-data- mining-news/ 11 Link Shortening
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  • Exploration Currently undergoing explosive growth Feb 09 1,000,000 tweets/hour Note the drop to 0; caused by DDOS 10-20 k tweets/minute http://www.tweespeed.com/ Ranks 14 in Alexa stats 12 Current Growth
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  • Exploration Leaked internal documents: Key Point: Sees 1 billion users by 2013 http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/07/15/twitter s-financial-forecast-shows-first-revenue-in-q3- 1-billion-users-in-2013/http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/07/15/twitter s-financial-forecast-shows-first-revenue-in-q3- 1-billion-users-in-2013/ Long term goals: Already stated: Become self- acclaimed pulse of the planet Real-time searching of tweets and users Long term use: Twitter as a news wire Twitter as citizen journalism Twitter as a PR tool Twitter as a source for link mining and social analytics Real-time sentiment tracking Hosebird stream API 13 Future
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  • Exploration ComcastCares Frank Eliason: (@comcastcares)@comcastcares Pioneered the use of Twitter to engage in direct customer care to interact with Comcast customers. Watches standing searches of Comcast and Comcrap (and other pejorative corruptions of Comcast) and replies directly to customers to mitigate issues Virtually instant high-level help and dialogue with someone empowered to fix problems on Comcasts side. Spawned a flurry of media attention and led other corporations to make twitter a means of reaching out to customers and dealing wit