Grouping Contacts On Twitter Coming

Posted Jun 6, 2008

Jack Dorsey, CEO of Twitter interviewed with Mitch Wagner yesterday regarding what is coming up in the pipeline with mini-blogging company.  Twitter is going to add the ability to separate contacts into different groups, receive messages via email, and add an IM feature.  So you’ll be able to create a group for “People That Cause Twitter Outages” and add Robert Scoble to that group.

“We’ve been adding some databases and hardware and tweaking our schema to take a lot of load off the main database,” stated Dorsey. “We’ve seen some improvements in the last few days, and we’re making sure we make a good record of stability before we turn on IM, which is a popular service and will increase the load.”

The outages were caused by instant growth of Twitter and the servers couldn’t handle the load.  Dare Obasajno, Program Manager at Microsoft has an interesting take on Twitter’s scaling issues.  Dare’s blog post states, will Twitter be the next Friendster?  Friendster has had numerous problems with scaling, thus paving the way for Facebook to rise and dominate social networking market share.

“Any massive user is going to make the system work, certainly,” added Dorsey. “The way we originally designed the architecture, and the way the system is designed right now, we have various pain points.” Popular Twitter users create a chain reaction — when they update, their followers are more likely to update, too, leading to usage surges. “When you get an update from a friend, you are likely to update as well,” he said. “We have to design the system for that kind of flash-mob behavior.”

Twitter hired Steve Jensen and John Kalucki to help with scaling the site.  Jensen worked at Blogger and Blogger was started by Twitter co-founder, Ev Williams.  Blogger was acquired by Google 5 years ago.

Personally I never really got into Twitter until the last couple of months.  But now I’m addicted to it.  You may find me subscribing to many people as I find the content appearing on the homepage to be very interesting such as Neha Tiwari getting laid off at Revision3.   Add me on Twitter.

Information Sources:
[1] InformationWeek: Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey: Improved Uptime Is Top Priority by Mitch Wagner
[2] Mashable: Twitter Is Working on Groups by Mark ‘Rizzn’ Hopkins