This is a recently issued patent from Twitter
"Device independent message distribution platform"
This recently issued patent describes the basic mechanics and functionality of Twitter.
BASIC PATENT DATA:
- Patent Number: 8,401,009
- Priority Number: US2008177589
- Issue Date: March 19, 2013
- Priority Date: July 22, 2008 (provisional filed July 23, 2007)
- Assignee: Twitter, Inc.
- Inventor: Jack Dorsey, San Francisco and Christopher Isaac Stone
PATENT OVERVIEW: This is the patent that describes the basic mechanics and functionality of Twitter, summarized roughly as:
- A method of communicating among users
- One user (the "first" user) can "follow" another user (the "second" user).
- The "second" user can post a message. The message is not posted "to" anyone, it is just posted.
- All followers of the second user receive the posted message.
- The first user can choose from a set of possible methods for receiving messages.
The first claim contains more steps such as, if the first user tells the system whom they wish to follow, the system records that fact. And when the second user posts a message, the system looks up the list of all users previously recorded as following that user so it knows who to send copies of the message to. And so on.
Claim 1 requires, specifically:
- A method for device-independent point to multipoint communication, the method comprising:
Receiving from a first computing device of a first user a selection of one or more endpoints for receiving update messages;
Receiving, from the first computing device, a request to follow a second user;
Designating, by a computer processor, the first user as a follower of the second user in response to the request, wherein designating the first user comprises configuring an account of the first user to reference update messages broadcasted by the second user;
Receiving, from a computing device of the second user, a broadcast request to broadcast an update message in a first format, wherein the update message lacks identification of the first user as an intended recipient, and wherein the update message includes an identification of the second user as a sender of the update message;
Identifying, by the computer processor, a plurality of followers of the second user in response to the broadcast request, wherein the first user is among the plurality of followers;
Determining addressing information of each of the plurality of followers, wherein the addressing information of the first user identifies the endpoints for receiving messages;
Applying, for each of the plurality of followers, rules to the update message based on the addressing information;
Translating the update message into an appropriate format for each of the endpoints; and
Broadcasting the update message to each of the endpoints in the appropriate format.
Other claims are for the computer system that does this.
WHY IT MATTERS: This patent covers the basic functionality of a Twitter-like service.
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