How Twitter’s Spectacular Growth is Fueled by Unexpected Uses

Twitter co-founder Evan Williams spoke at a recent TED conference about the founding of what has become today’s most exciting social networking tool. Williams, who was also involved in the founding of Blogger, describes how Twitter arose as a side project at start-up company Odeo.

What struck me is how much of Twitter’s current functionality has come about through user involvement. For example, the @username syntax for responding to a tweet started and spread from within the Twitter user base and was only later incorporated as a standard.

The TED video notes other examples of user-generated applications with Twitter such as the Summize, a real-time search engine which has since been purchased by Twitter,