I’ve written about Twylah before, but I thought it was time for an in depth look at what I think is an incredibly powerful tool– not just for Twitter and social media but for your blog or web site and in particular your SEO. Twylah was founded by husband and wife entrepeneurs Eric and Kelly Kim back in 2010, and has grown rapidly and has rather a cult following.
I know, another social media tool to spend time with, but this is one I highly recommend, particularly due to the fact that it doesn’t really take up a huge amount of time to implement or manage.
So, what is Twylah? I feel there’s not usually a person better placed than one of the founders to answer that question. Kelly Kim was kind enough to answer some questions for this blog post in a mini interview. You can find Kelly Kim on Twitter @twylah and you should check out her blog too.
I’ll be posting more about Twylah in the next few weeks, and in particular how to power charge your Tweets and website using Twylah’s amazing Power Tweet service. Don’t miss it. To see my Twylah page, you can visit it here.
Ian: Hi! Can you introduce yourself, where are you from and you do for fun?
Kelly: Sure, Ian. Thank you. I’m Kelly Kim, co-founder of Twylah, and I live in San Francisco. As an entrepreneur and mom of 2 little ones, there’s not much time for fun, but… I would have to say the most fun I have is spending time with my children. For example, this week, we’re taking our kids on a safari in Northern California.
Ian: Can you describe Twylah in 140 characters?
Kelly: Twylah is the best way to share your tweets. We create beautiful widgets and websites out of the content you share on Twitter.
Ian: How would you describe Twylah to an average internet user?
Kelly: To the average internet user, I would say that Twylah is a sort of mini-blog that Twylah automatically creates from your tweets. If the average internet user would begin to tweet their favorite quotes or favorite articles or fun pictures, we take all those tweets, and we organize them into a sort of blog or online magazine, which is beautiful and engaging and sharable.
Ian: Can you tell us more about the team behind Twylah and a bit about how it came about?
Kelly: My husband is the CEO and founder of Twylah. He came up with the idea initially and continues to hold the vision for the company. Eric has been a part of a few other successful startups, so he has a startup mentality. A few years back, he started hearing a lot about Twitter, but not a lot about the monetization of Twitter. He saw a way to take tweets and turn them into something valuable and monetizable, and that’s what we’re doing. We also have a designer and a developer on the team, who are incredibly talented and dedicated.
Ian: Have you been pleased with how many people have signed up?
Kelly: Sure, we are pleased with the number of users we have. We are even more excited about the amount of traffic we are driving to people’s pages.
Ian: What’s with the “request invite”? Are you in beta or is this an exclusive club?
Kelly: We are in beta, and we are not an exclusive club. If you have good content (and enough content — we require 75 tweets minimum), you can have a Twylah page. Occasionally, we get inundated with requests, and then there may be a short wait, but we try our best to accommodate everyone.
Ian: What type of person or brand is Twylah for? Is it just for celebs and big businesses, or can small/medium businesses or individuals sign up?
Kelly: In fact, Twylah is great for SMB’s and individuals because these are the people who don’t have the resources to hire big social media teams. Twylah takes the tweets these businesses and individuals are already creating and provides tons more value with that same content.
Ian: How long before people can expect an invite?
Kelly: It depends on how busy we are, but usually just a day or so.
Ian: Can you tell us a bit about the technology behind Twylah? Hosting, PHP/ASP/Ruby etc. Server location or do you use content delivery networks?
Kelly: We use Ruby on Rails and MongoDB. And we’re hosted on Amazon web servers.
Ian: How often do Twylah pages update and at what time?
Kelly: We update pages on a rolling basis. We aim to update pages once/day.
Ian: How long is a tweet or landing page on Twylah kept? Is it there forever?
Kelly: If you power tweet, we keep that tweet landing page forever. But all other tweets? We need to cut them off at some point because forever is a long time.
Ian: What are your plans for the future? What are you most excited about?
Kelly: I’m most excited about working with small companies and “solopreneurs” to give them more value from the content they are already creating. Social media is a revolution, but harnessing the benefits has proven to be difficult for the “little guy,” so to speak. We are making content creation and content marketing a bit easier for these users. I am also excited about enabling people to create custom domains with their Twylah pages, which means that they can get more traffic to their own websites from their Twitter activity.
Ian: What are your fave Twitter tools out there that you use, love and recommend?
A bit more background…
I asked Kelly a few more questions, but before we move over to that, I thought I’d give a bit more background and history to Twylah.
Eric, Kelly’s husband, and Twylah’s co-founder, did a mechanical engineering degree but spent 6 years at QuinStreet, a marketing company. When interviewed by founderly.com, Eric said that he came up with the idea of Twylah when pondering over the idea of how could you monetise Twitter. The problem with Twitter is what happens to all those millions of tweets posted every day? After an hour or so, most tweets fall off the radar and are never seen again. Couple that with the fact that Twitter make it very difficult to view older Tweets– they don’t allow you to see further back than 3,200 tweets even when using their API.
The other problem that Eric wanted to solve, was to bring Twitter to the masses. Even now, Twitter is still only used by a minority of the population– Twylah brings your tweets to life on a website. The final problem that Twylah wanted to address was to keep search results live for tweets. Although search engines do spider tweets, they’re not as “sticky” as you might think. Twylah creates landing pages for your Tweets that last much longer, and in the case of Power Tweets, they last effectively forever.
Robert Scoble produced a great video interview with Eric, which can be seen here. It gives a more in depth look at Twylah and what it does.…
So, on with the interview…
Ian: It would be great if the power tweet functionality could be integrated with Buffer, so that we could schedule our Power Tweets
Kelly: We have integrated with buffer! It’s done!
Ian: How does the url shortning work? I see that it uses twy.la, is it possible to use a custom url shortner in the future such as bit.ly? If not, is this in the pipeline?
Kelly: Not in the short term. Do you want this for the analytics? You will get analytics from your page if/when you create a custom domain with your Twylah page.
Ian: Instead of sending a power tweet, would it be possible to just copy the shortned url? That way we could manually share to Facebook, Pinterest, Google+ or add to Buffer.
Kelly: Yes you can do that manually. We are considering options to also send power tweets to FB, Pinterest, G+ etc.
As I said, I’ll be writing more about Twylah, including some how-to videos. But, for now, what do you think of Twylah? Do you use it? If not, would you consider it? Be sure to let me know in the comments below.