The New York Times last week published an article titled “All Is Fair in Love and Twitter.” Tad Hirsch, a researcher in MIT’s Smart Cities Group, today published a post countering the description of Twitter’s early days by author Nick Bilton, and explaining that Twitter all began with status-sharing service TXTmob.
Here’s the crux of it:
To be clear, TXTmob wasn’t Twitter. The Twitter team made a number of key innovations that allowed the project to scale, and to attract investors. Further, pointing out that TXTmob played a role in Twitter’s creation is in no way to suggest that Evan, Blaine, Jack Dorsey, or anyone else stole anything from me. TXTmob was an open-source project that I freely shared. The folks at Odeo took this project and adapted it for mainstream use in ways that I frankly did not anticipate. And while I wouldn’t object if one of the Twitter millionaires decided to send along a few “thank you” shares, I don’t believe that they are under any obligation to do so.
In other words, much like Facebook was a significant improvement over Myspace, Twitter was a significant improvement over TXTmob. The only difference is that out of the four services, TXTmob is probably the one you’ve never heard of.
Top Image Credit: Leon Neal/Getty Images