Twitter Buys Summize Search Engine - InformationWeek

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7/17/2008
06:14 PM
Roger Smith
Roger Smith
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Twitter Buys Summize Search Engine

Twitter's business plan may actually start bringing in some revenue with the news that Twitter has acquired the leading Twitter search engine Summize for an undisclosed sum.

Twitter's business plan may actually start bringing in some revenue with the news that Twitter has acquired the leading Twitter search engine Summize for an undisclosed sum.The announcement comes after weeks of outages that forced the popular microblogging company to scale back on service features in an effort to keep the system running. The outages were caused by increased demand on the service, which TechCrunch estimated in March as 1 million total users, 200,000 active users per week, and 3 million messages daily. The Summize acquisition should help Twitter monetise this large and growing audience, just as Google makes its bundles of money with ads next to contextual searches.

The Twitter service runs on MySQL on Red Hat (NYSE: RHT) Enterprise Linux, on a managed hosting service NTT Managed Hosting Platform, which wasn't designed to take the load. In the announcement of the Summize acquisition on the Twitter Blog, Twitter co-founder Biz Stone said that in addition to adding search capabilities, the new hires also would work on Twitter's stability problems. "Overall service performance remains our first and foremost priority. Adding five extremely talented engineers to our team serves to further this goal."

Besides the five Summize employees, Twitter also recently hired two new operations engineers, John Adams and Rudy Winnacker, who came over from Google, where he has worked as a system administrator for the past 5 years.

The Summize employees ought to have some experience with dynamic load balancing: by one account the Summize business grew from 0 to 14 million queries a week in over the space of the last two months.

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