Twitter bought Fluther for the talent. How long before the microblog service launches a Q&A service or recommendation engine of its own?
Twitter has acquired a small startup called Fluther for
its engineering talent, the microblog power said Dec. 21.
Pronounced like "mother," Fluther offers a
social question and answer service at
, which will continue operating as a project independent of Twitter
to serve its 1 million-plus monthly visitors.
Like services Quora, Hunch and Facebook Questions
Google's Aardvark, Fluther users ask questions to receive answers from humans
instead of solely machines powered by algorithms. However, algorithms do
determine the correct people to whom to forward a posed question.
These Q&A specialists have proven quite useful for
journalists and niche-information seekers, but have yet to attract major
mainstream interest the way social services Facebook and Twitter have.
While Fluther will live on, there will be no new
development. Fluther co-founder and CEO Ben Finkel, co-founder and President
Andrew McClain, and engineers Tim Trueman, Richard Henry, and Cameron Dutro are
banked $200 million
in funding led by Kleiner Perkins, Caulfield and Byers last
week, declined to specify what the new talent would do.
The company did say the hires will "focus on helping
users discover the most relevant content on Twitter." That certainly sounds
like a search-oriented product.
Presumably, they will work on building a Q&A or
recommendation search service for Twitter, which has more than half of its
employees in engineering and operations.
"During our conversations with Fluther's team, we
were continually impressed by their technical talent, entrepreneurial spirit,
and much of the thinking behind the question-and-answer product they've spent
the last couple of years building," Twitter said in a blog post
Finkel and McClain added in their own
"We love Twitter, and we think their wonderful
culture and technology are a perfect match for our team. It's the ideal place for us to keep building
things that people love.