All posts tagged “Twitter”

Dropcam CEO leaves Nest; founding VP of technology goes to Twitter

Two high-level employees at Nest have departed the company this week, The Verge has learned. Sources say that Nest’s vice president of technology Yoky Matsuoka, as well as Greg Duffy who co-founded Dropcam, are no longer with the company. Matsuoka was previously the head of innovation at Google, as well as a professor of computer science and engineering at the University of Washington. She’s leaving to join Twitter. Duffy joined Nest when Dropcam was acquired for $ 555 million last June, though the product’s future has seemed uncertain.

Nest did not immediately respond to a request for comment.


Continue reading…

The Verge – All Posts

Twitter might be taking its ads into the wild on apps and websites

Soon you may be seeing more ads in tweets that aren’t on or various third-party Twitter clients. According to The Wall Street Journal, Twitter spent the past week pitching advertisers on a new plan to roll out “ads within streams of tweets on other publishers’ apps and websites,” which could include places like Flipboard and ESPN’s Sportscenter apps. Twitter is said to be seeking a revenue-sharing deal with those companies, something that could help it make money just about anywhere, but more importantly in places where people might be spending more time than Twitter itself.

Continue reading…

The Verge – All Posts

8 Ways Twitter Bots Are Actually Helping Us

Depending on your experience on Twitter, you may have encountered your fair share of annoying and spammy Twitter bots that keep following you. And unfollowing you when you don’t follow back. That said, not all Twitter bots are the ones that you normally find selling questionable goods or sending you suspicious links.

These ones are normally made by programmers playing around with code and algorithms. Some even call themselves Internet artists like Darius Kazemi who comes up with strange and interesting bots. Out of these experiments, actual helpful Twitter bots have emerged. So we scoured the Twitterverse to compile and categorize 8 things Twitter bots can do.

Natural Disaster Alert

Perhaps one of the most useful bots, these accounts tweet natural disasters such as storms, earthquakes, and tsunamis as they happen. They normally draw their information from an official source like the earthquake one below which gets its data from the US Geological Survey. The bot is further programmed to tweet earthquakes that are at 5.0 and above on the Richter scale.

Some go a step further by being interactive such as Wave Glider Holoholo. The account is linked to a robot that collects data from the ocean around the Big Island of Hawaii. By asking it certain questions, it can tell you the weather report which can help you prepare for the weather.

Online Conversations/Debates

Twitter bots can also be made to pose as humans. No, we’re not talking about the bot that just followed you because you tweeted about eating pizza. What we are referring to is Olivia Taters, the bot who tweets uncannily like a teenage girl. So life-like is she that other Twitter users end up talking to her without realizing she’s a bot.

How the bot works is that the algorithm picks words used around the Twitterverse. Using that same premise, DevOps engineer Randi Harper built a bot that helps her debate with GamerGate supporters when she got tired of them harrassing her on the microblogging site. The bot does this by plucking randomly assembled phrases from her main account.

Monitoring Censors

When MH17 was shot out of the sky, many pointed fingers at the Ukrainian pro-separatist group and the Russians. Suspicions were further raised when reports of the exchanges between the leader were revealed. But what really sealed the deal that the proceedings were fishy was when Twitter bot @RuGovEdits exposed that the Russian government has been editing Wikipedia.

It even has an English version for the rest of us who can’t read Russian.

The bot works by tracking Wikipedia anonymous edits made by Russian government IPs. It is not the first of its kind as the US counterpart @congressedits came before it and there are others like the UK’s @parliamentedits. All these bots however aim to do the same thing which is to keep the government in check and inform them that the people are watching them too.

Generate Poetry

It’s amazing that despite the 140 character limit Twitter imposes, users are creatively coming up with short stories and poetry. Even bots are getting in on the game with their algorithms searching high and low the Twitterspace to retweet tweets accidentally written in iambic pentameter which is what @pentametron does.

Or even like this account that finds tweets that were accidentally (or coincidentally) written in haiku structure.

Generate Art

Twitter bots don’t just dabble in poetry, they make pieces of artwork too. These bots are pretty interactive as well as their algorithms will transform any image you tweet to it. Take for example @a_quilt_bot which turns your images into quilt or as quilt-like as it can.

Then there’s @pixelsorter which sorts a line of pixel from an image to generate abstract fuzzy images.

Sometimes, the various bots interact with one another whether by programming or by direct manipulation from their creators like this incident where @pixelsorter and @badpng were pitted against each other. The bots continuously mesh the images over and over before the creator stepped in to stop the never-ending exchange.

Teach English/Educate

The Internet needs more of these bots with the amount of grammar and spelling faux pas it always commits. These bots save the day (and irritate the offenders) by correcting their English like the now defunct @StealthMountain which tweets back at people who misspelled the phrase “sneak peek”. However @_grammar_ goes one step further by personally correcting improper grammar in tweets.

Some are relatively simple although no less uninformative such as the ever-celebrated @everyword which tweets a word from the dictionary everyday. It recently completed its cycle on June 7, 2014 after faithfully performing its task for 7 years. I’m puzzled why this is the last word though.

Send Notifications

Similar to the weather Twitter bots and the ones monitoring Wiki edits, these bots can be used for any basic alerts that would make life easier. One good example is the Netflix account. Yes, it is a bot and it tells you when a show is available for viewing. You know, when you are expecting that latest episode or for your binge watching needs.

Now that may seem like a relatively simple bot but sometimes the simplest of things are the most useful. Such as this bot which sends out announcements on whether a school is closed or delayed in Central Ohio. No more frustrations for parents and students!


Much like the Wave Glider Holoholo, these bots are interactive. The best example would be @DearAssistant which answers questions that you direct at it. It is considered as a “mini version of Siri” by its creator as it is based on the same data source.

There are various less complex bots that merely respond to a certain catchphrases or key words like @Betelgeuse_3 (it’ll respond if you type Beetlejuice 3 times) and @DBZNappa (which tweets back “WHAT?! NINE THOUSAND?!” anytime someone tweets “over 9000″). @RedScareBot however responds to any tweet that contains the word “socialist” or “communist” in the spirit of Joseph McCarthy because politics.

Have you come across other interesting Twitter bots? Let us know in the comments below!

Twitter co-founder ‘doesn’t give a shit’ that Instagram has more users

Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom said yesterday that the photo-sharing service has overtaken Twitter in active users, but Ev Williams doesn’t seem too concerned. The Twitter co-founder, who also started Blogger before Google bought it out and now spends his time on projects like Mediumtells Fortune that he “doesn’t give a shit” about the services’ respective userbases in terms of pure numbers.

Continue reading…

The Verge – All Posts

Instagram is now bigger than Twitter

Instagram now has a bigger active user base than Twitter, according to a blog post written today by CEO Kevin Systrom. The photo and video sharing platform has over 300 million active users, more than Twitter’s 284 million but a far cry behind parent company Facebook’s 1.3 billion. Systrom also says that those users are uploading more than 70 million photos and videos per day.

Not only does Instagram now have more users, it’s also growing at a faster rate than Twitter. Instagram has doubled the amount of its active monthly users since last fall, when the service passed the 150 million mark. Twitter reached 200 million active monthly users in December of 2012, but it has seen its growth slow since then while also being passed by services…

Continue reading…

The Verge – All Posts

Are your tweets any good? Twitter is experimenting with mobile tools to figure that out

A new tool in Twitter’s official mobile app lets users see a variety of metrics about their tweets, but not everyone has access to it, and it’s not clear whether it’ll ever roll out to the entire user base.

“View Analytics Details,” which appears beneath individual tweets, opens a view that shows you impressions, engagements, and engagement rates — how many people have seen and clicked the tweet, basically. Separate drilldowns reveal the percentage of followers that viewed media and clicked any links associated with the tweet. Though it’s a new feature on mobile, the underlying data has been available for some time: Twitter opened analytics to all users on its website last year. The new functionality just makes it easily accessible (and…

Continue reading…

The Verge – All Posts

Democrats also used secret Twitter profile to circumvent election laws, says report

Earlier this week, the Republican party was discovered to have used Twitter to inform its fundraising groups of polling numbers during elections, potentially infringing on a rule that bars US political parties from “coordinating” with outside elements. But it appears that the GOP wasn’t alone in using Twitter to skirt regulations — according to The Huffington Post, the Democrats also used the micro-blogging service during 2012 elections to provide information on party ad campaigns to groups who weren’t technically allowed to receive the data directly.

The information appeared on the @AdBuyDetails Twitter account, with tweets mentioning a range of data, including the candidate for which the ads were purchased, the target age group it was…

Continue reading…

The Verge – All Posts

10 Important Twitter Management Tools

There are so many Twitter tools out there that makes it quite difficult to decide which ones to trust with your Twitter account management. There are many useful tools that have been used by big giant to manage their Twitter accounts. For this post, we have collected 10 very important as well as equally useful Twitter management tools for you that will allow you manage multiple Twitter accounts easily.
Here is the full collection after the jump. We hope that you will find this collection useful for you. DO let us know what you think about this compilation. Also, add if we have missed some good management tools that you know.


Enhance your social media management with HootSuite, the leading social media dashboard. Manage multiple networks and profiles and measure your campaign results.


Tweepi Twitter Follow Management Utility is a set of Twitter tools to add, follow and unfollow tweeps in bulk.


BrandChirp is the # 1 solution for brand management on Twitter. Effectively monitor, manage and resolve all brand activity.


ManageFlitter is a critically acclaimed set of Twitter Tools loved by over 2 million people. Unfollow, Follow, Bio Search & Analytics.


Buffer makes it super easy to share any page you’re reading. Keep your Buffer topped up and we automagically share posts for you through the day.




Argyle Social is marketing software made for the social B2B. We integrate with several marketing systems and social networks to ensure your social data is relevant at every level of your organization.


Get your free Twitter brand assessment and action plan.


Embedly delivers the ultra-fast, easy to use products and tools for richer sites and apps.

Does Twitter have a secret weapon for silencing trolls?

Luciana Berger, a member of British Parliament, has been receiving a stream of anti-Semitic abuse on Twitter. It only escalated after a man was jailed for tweeting her a picture with a Star of David superimposed on her forehead and the text “Hitler was Right.” But over the last few weeks, the abuse began to disappear. Her harassers hadn’t gone away, and Twitter wasn’t removing abusive tweets after the fact, as it sometimes does, or suspending accounts as reports came in. Instead, the abuse was being blocked by what seems to be an entirely new anti-abuse filter.

For a while, at least, Berger didn’t receive any tweets containing anti-Semitic slurs, including relatively innocuous words like “rat.” If an account attempted to @-mention her…

Continue reading…

The Verge – All Posts