Twitter Tuesday: Twitter acquires Fluther team, Facebook vs. Twitter gets graphed
Welcome to another Twitter Tuesday, where we're just in time to talk about Twitter's latest interesting acquisition. It's not a company or an app; it's the team at Fluther! This will be the first time a lot of people have heard of Fluther, so here's the scoop: Fluther is a site that sounds Twitter-related, but it's actually a question-and-answer community along the lines of Quora. Twitter's not buying the service or shutting it down, just snapping up the smart people behind the site, including co-founders Ben Finkel and Andrew McClain.
Fluther's blog says the team is leaving to become part of the "the next stage of Twitter's growth," but it's tricky to speculate about what that might be. Twitter already functions as a decent Q&A service on its own, and could simply have bought Fluther outright if it wanted something like that. We know analytics and new kinds of ads are coming to Twitter, but Fluther's founders and engineers will probably be cooking up something else entirely, and it will be interesting to see what it turns out to be.
As an interesting side note, Twitter co-founder Biz Stone invested in Fluther back in 2009, so the Fluther team has probably been on Twitter's radar for some time now.
USB Coconatch Robot Lights Up And Dances When You Get a New Twitter AlertFor people who are really serious (or really silly) about their Twitter alerts, there's now an adorable USB robot called Coconatch. It lights up and dances whenever someone sends email to its unique address, so all you have to do is forward your Twitter alerts to your little blue buddy, and he'll be hopping every time you get a DM or mention. Adorable! The bad news: Coconatch costs around $65, it's WIndows-only and you'll have to order one from Japan.
Here's a video of Coconatch in action, via TheNextWeb.
Twitter vs. Facebook: By The Numbers
Digital Surgeons! I'd love to have this framed and hang it up in the office. Click on the thumbnail to check out the full version of the infographic.
Touiteur Android Twitter Client Has to Change Its Name, May Become PlumeTouiteur -- which, after all, is just a Frenchified spelling of Twitter -- and asked Touiteur's developers to rename the app. Instead of hastily rebranding, though, Touiteur asked its users to pick the new name, and "Plume" came out ahead in the voting. It looks like the Touiteur folks are still making sure they're free and clear to use Plume, but it's likely to become Touiteur's new identity.
Smartr iPhone App Turns Your Twitter Stream into a NewsreaderTwitter-to-newspaper apps like Flipboard and Tweetmag have become popular on the iPad recently, but poor iPhone users didn't have a small-screen alternative until now. Check out Smartr, an app that filters the links from your Twitter stream and displays them as a stream of page previews, letting you read Twitter links like a newspaper or RSS feed. It's also got Retweet and Save to Instapaper buttons for your reading convenience. While Smartr may not be as pretty as its iPad brethren, it gets the job done. Plus, it's free!
That's all we've got for Twitter Tuesday this week. I'll be back after Christmas with all the Twitter apps and news I can fit in a stocking! See you next week!