Select your localized edition:

Close ×

More Ways to Connect

Discover one of our 28 local entrepreneurial communities »

Be the first to know as we launch in new countries and markets around the globe.

Interested in bringing MIT Technology Review to your local market?

MIT Technology ReviewMIT Technology Review - logo


Unsupported browser: Your browser does not meet modern web standards. See how it scores »

{ action.text }

Founded in late 2006, Twitter provides a communication tool that lets users post 140-character-or-fewer updates on their current activities or thoughts, noteworthy links on the Web, or public conversations. Twitterers can be found all over the world, posting updates 24 hours a day, but this photo essay will take you inside the Twitter offices, in South Park, San Francisco, where programmers try to turn the constant connection provided by the Web and cellular networks into a tool that some people find indispensable.

Twitter cofounders Evan Williams (above right) and Biz Stone discuss upcoming changes to the company’s service in its office’s main meeting room. Williams and Stone are veterans of the first dot-com boom and note that starting a company today is much easier: a product can be developed by fewer people and rolled out faster. This has led to a mass of startups that release products in “limited beta,” a period in which early adopters test features, and startup engineers watch how the infrastructure holds up. Today’s startups can wait longer before they are funded, maintaining their autonomy and ability to change course. Twitter, a side project spun out of Odeo, Williams’s former podcasting company, was prototyped in a few weeks. Stone maintains that the idea behind Twitter wouldn’t have fired up a room of venture capitalists: before seeking money, the company had to show the service in action.

Photography by Justin Fantl


2 comments. Share your thoughts »

Tagged: Business, Twitter, social networking, Web 2.0, Evan Williams

Reprints and Permissions | Send feedback to the editor

From the Archives


Introducing MIT Technology Review Insider.

Already a Magazine subscriber?

You're automatically an Insider. It's easy to activate or upgrade your account.

Activate Your Account

Become an Insider

It's the new way to subscribe. Get even more of the tech news, research, and discoveries you crave.

Sign Up

Learn More

Find out why MIT Technology Review Insider is for you and explore your options.

Show Me