August 05, 2010

Twitter Says Shoutouts are Internal Only to "Give Props"

My late-night speculation on Twitter readying a new feature uncovered not a new way for users to send notices to others on the site, but instead, one of the multiple internal-only accounts used to raise company morale and togetherness.

Sean Garrett (@sg), in the company's communications group, sent an e-mail this morning saying the intriguing account was "not a product", after the discussion of the potential feature had reached ReadWriteWeb and TheNextWeb, among other places.

The entertaining denial and explanation is below:
There have been reports of a Twitter Shout Out™ product being launched on the market soon. We can neither confirm or deny a product at this time. Not even if you ask us really nicely*. However, what we can say is that we are always optimizing for user value and relevance. For example, just the other day Ev was saying that we should totally find ways to "give props" to users adding value on the system in a way that is organic to how people are already using Twitter. Someone told Ev that "give props" wasn't something that people said anymore. Biz -- or was it Jason? -- then said that "shout out" was now a more common vernacular for a "kind mention of a homie" (Urban Dictionary). Anywho, where were we? Oh yeah, Twitter Shout Out™ and that freakin' leak. Or was it a leak? Or was it after-midnight sleuthing? You tell me. Or, maybe the this is all some sort of some special tease to later to be revealed during Dancing with the Stars or, better yet, at halftime of an exhibition football game. Speaking of which, whatever happened with the folks in Up With People? Do you think they are really are still that happy?

*However, what we can say is that it's not a product. It's an internal account where Twitter employees "give props" to each other.
So there you go. It's another episode of my being wrong after midnight. See also: Independence Day Speculation on Brizzly and Foursquare. All part of the fun when you mix real-time discovery and real-time services that operate in public.