Twitter Acquires Engineering Talent From Q&A Site Fluther

December 23, 2010 0

New York — Micro blogging site Twitter may have geared up to become a major player in the thriving social Q&A space on Tuesday announced that it has acquired Fluther, a small California-based startup, which describes itself as a “free Q&A collective that specializes in getting fast answers from the right people,” for its engineering talent.

The technical talent acquisition includes four new engineers and one designer to the Twitter team: Ben Finkel, Andrew McClain, Tim Trueman, Richard Henry, and Cameron Dutro, said Twitter spokeswoman Carolyn Penner in a company blog.

“During our discussion with Fluther’s team, we were continually influenced by their technical talent, entrepreneurial spirit, and much of the thinking behind the question-and-answer product they have spent the last couple of years building,” she said. “When the Fluther team joins us they will focus on helping users discover the most relevant content on Twitter. Their product, Fluther.com, is not part of the acquisition and will remain separate from Twitter.”

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

However, the deal does not involve the question-and-answer site’s product. A Twitter spokesperson noted in a blog post that the company will not shut Fluther down, nor will it allow development to continue.

Although it will no longer have access to the same property, community manager Lisa Noll will continue maintaining the site, said Ben Finkel, CEO and co-founder, and Andrew McClain, president and co-founder, both of whom are heading to Twitter.

“We are planning to keep Fluther.com up and running, as it is, as a separate project from Twitter,” Fluther said in a blog post. “We would not be developing it as we are now focused on Twitter, but Lisa will continue on as community manager and maintainer.”

Social question-and-answer sites such as: Quora, StackOverflow and Fluther have been flourishing over the last year as consumers have started to drift away from querying massive search engines, which can not provide direct answers.

“Search is overly mature. People want to interact with other people,” Finkle told Tech Crunch’s Eric Schonfeld. “Ultimately, it is still a hard problem because you are connecting people who do not know each other. It is still a huge, wide-open space.”

“Thank you to everyone who helped Fluther grow from an idea into a thriving community with over a million visitors a month,” Finkel and McClain wrote. “We will have more details about the state of Fluther in the coming weeks.”

The company promised more details about the future of Fluther in the coming weeks.

“We love Twitter very much, and we think their marvelous culture and technology are a perfect match for our team. It is the ideal place for us to keep building things that people love,” Fluther concluded.