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What Happened This Week

June 17, 2010

June 16, Tweetmeme Serving 500M Buttons Daily, Adds Language and Translation Support

While the majority of Twitter users reside within the United States, there is also a massive international population of users sharing info and links in various languages around the world. Tweetmeme, a service for sharing and tracking links on Twitter, announced today that it serves a half of a billion retweet button impressions each day on nearly 200,000 websites worldwide. To keep up with this growth, and the international Twitter community, the service is rolling out support for languages on buttons as well as automatic translation for retweets made on its site. The buttons now support seven languages: English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Japanese and Portuguese. For international users, the words “tweets” and “retweet” have been translated into these various languages, making the process of retweeting links via Tweetmeme more accessible.

June 15, Leveraging Twitter, Twitpay Narrows Focus to Donations and Gaming

It started out as a way to pay other people through the wildly popular Twitter social network, but now a recapitalized and re-energized Twitpay Inc. is concentrating on much narrower niches where it sees greater potential. In March, using a homegrown, in-house platform, it started processing charitable donations, and in a matter of weeks it expects to leverage that platform to introduce processing for political contributions. Next up after that will be payments for online social games, says Michael Ivey, a serial entrepreneur who co-founded Atlanta-based Twitpay in November 2008 and serves as its president.

June 14, Data junkie startup Infochimps opens wealth of features for Twitter developers

Infochimps, a startup aiming to organize all of the world’s free and commercial datasets, has opened a host of new features for Twitter developers to tap. The company, which has collected and analyzed about four years’ worth of data from Twitter’s application programming interface, is allowing other parties to stand on its shoulders and pull up stats about any Twitter user’s influence or word preferences through a new set of APIs.
One API will let you see all of the public conversations or interactions between any two Twitter users. Another one, called Trstrank, applies a Google PageRank-like algorithm to Twitter users to measure their influence. A third one, Wordbag, which lets you analyze words that are unique to any user.

June 14, Twitter ramps up its location efforts with Places

Twitter just launched Places, the location-sharing feature that the company announced at its Chirp conference in April.

Users could already share their location on Twitter — either their latitude and longitude coordinates or their neighborhoods. But with Places, you can share a specific location, like a coffee shop, a restaurant, or a bar. Then users can search to see all the tweets from that location. They can create new Places, too.

In its blog post announcing the debut, Twitter notes that its database includes all the World Cup stadiums in South Africa, so soccer fan can see which World Cup tweets come from people who are watching in-person, rather than people who are commenting from afar.

At Chirp, Twitter Chief Executive Ev Williams argued that this isn’t going to be a “check-in” feature that competes with services like Foursquare and Gowalla, which also allow users to share their locations on Twitter.

June 10, Twitter acquires Smallthought Systems

Twitter announced Thursday it has acquired a group known as Smallthought Systems a start up responsible for Trendly, an application that lets web sites find out more about the usage and traffic data that is collected by Google Analytics.

This acquisition is just the most recent of Twitter’s growing list of technology assets. In 2009, the company acquired Mixer Labs, a location-based firm laying claim to GeoAPI, which provides geolocation services for many different online clients. This spring, they also came to an agreement over Atebits, the creator of the popular iPhone Twitter client Tweetie, for its purchase.

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