The Twitter Engineering Blog

Information from Twitter's engineering team about our technology, tools and events.

Results from Engineering for: 2012

Right-to-left support for Twitter Mobile

Thanks to the efforts of our translation volunteers, last week we were able to launch right-to-left language support for our mobile website in Arabic and Farsi. Two interesting challenges came up during development for this feature:

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How our photo filters came into focus

The old adage “a picture is worth a thousand words” is very apt for Twitter: a single photo can express what otherwise might require many Tweets. Photos help capture whatever we’re up to: kids’ birthday parties, having fun with our friends, the world we see when we travel.

Like so many of you, lots of us here at Twitter really love sharing filtered photos in our tweets. As we got into doing it more often, we began to wonder if we could make that experience better, easier and faster. After all, the now-familiar process for tweeting a filtered photo has required a few steps:

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Class project: “Analyzing Big Data with Twitter”

Twitter partnered with UC Berkeley this past semester to teach Analyzing Big Data with Twitter, a class with Prof. Marti Hearst.

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Blobstore: Twitter’s in-house photo storage system

Millions of people turn to Twitter to share and discover photos. To make it possible to upload a photo and attach it to your Tweet directly from Twitter, we partnered with Photobucket in 2011. As soon as photos became a more native part of the Twitter experience, more and more people began using this feature to share photos.

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Implementing pushState for twitter.com

As part of our continuing effort to improve the performance of twitter.com, we’ve recently implemented pushState. With this change, users experience a perceivable decrease in latency when navigating between sections of twitter.com; in some cases near zero latency, as we’re now caching responses on the client.

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Twitter and SMS Spoofing

Over the past two days, a few articles have been published about a potential problem concerning the ability to post false updates to another user’s SMS-enabled Twitter account, and it has been misreported that US-based Twitter users are currently vulnerable to this type of attack.

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Discover with a new lens: Twitter cards

As you already know, there’s a myriad of things shared on Twitter every day, and not just 140 characters of text. There are links to breaking news stories, images from current events, and the latest activity from those you follow.

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Dimension Independent Similarity Computation (DISCO)

MapReduce is a programming model for processing large data sets, typically used to do distributed computing on clusters of commodity computers. With large amount of processing power at hand, it’s very tempting to solve problems by brute force. However, we often combine clever sampling techniques with the power of MapReduce to extend its utility.

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Bolstering our infrastructure

Last night, the world tuned in to Twitter to share the election results as U.S. voters chose a president and settled many other campaigns. Throughout the day, people sent more than 31 million election-related Tweets (which contained certain key terms and relevant hashtags). And as results rolled in, we tracked the surge in election-related Tweets at 327,452 Tweets per minute (TPM). These numbers reflect the largest election-related Twitter conversation during our 6 years of existence, though they don’t capture the total volume of all Tweets yesterday.

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Open Sourcing Clutch.IO

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Clutch is an easy-to-integrate library for native iOS applications designed to help you develop faster, deploy instantly and run A/B tests. When Clutch co-founders Eric Florenzano (@ericflo) and Eric Maguire (@etmaguire) recently joined the flock, they promised that everything you need to run Clutch on your own infrastructure would be available.

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