case study: Entrepreneurs at Twitter

1. What are Twitter’s advantages and challenges given its chosen technology configuration (i.e. its open source platform and 140-character message limit)?

Open source platform:


  • Open source is a good way for Twitter to achieve greater penetration of the market
  • It helps build developer loyalty as developers feel empowered and have a sense of ownership of the end product
  • It reduces costs of marketing
  • It reduces development cost of the company
  • It is a good tool to promote a company’s image and its products, namely twitter
  • Open source platform products are the products of collaboration among a large number of different programmers. The mix of divergent perspectives, corporate objectives, and personal goals speeds up innovation and great UI design


  • Open source may allow hackers to know about the weaknesses or loopholes of the software more easily than closed-source software.
  • Programmers are using Twitter’s services and APIs to build applications. The customers will blame Twitter instead of the developer, if the developer writes some code that would do harm to the customers’ benefits, such as stealing user information

140-character message limit:


  • It forces the sender to keep the idea he/she wants to present brief and short, so that it would be easy for subscribers to read
  • It helps differentiate Twitter from Facebook, Google, and other blog services at the beginning
  • The 140-word limit also makes service faster and reduces cost


  • The users have to break apart their messages when they do have much words to say

2. What are the benefits and challenges for corporations looking to use Twitter internally and externally?


  • Twitter’s service is especially valuable to small companies, with limited budgets, looking to gain recognition in the marketplace – externally
  • Twitter helps corporations to build good relationship with customers – externally
  • It is a good way to let the customers know their updated new products in time – externally
  • It can used for managers to update and co-ordinate groups of employees – internally


  • Employees could be spending unnecessary amounts of time on the services – internally

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