Twitter: We Bought Fluther for Its Engineers, Not Its Q&A Service

Twitter Fluther

Twitter has ballooned into a $3.7 billion company with some 350 employees. And yesterday, the micro-blogging company grew just a bit larger.

Twitter announced Tuesday that it had swallowed up Fluther, a social question-and-answer service. But rather than acquire the startup, Twitter only brought on the Fluther team– will remain running independently–bringing aboard nearly a half-dozen engineers and one designer.

Is Twitter planning to implement a Q&A service? Its 140-character limit would be a good fit for Fluther’s social, crowdsourced Q&A platform, and Twitter would be wise to jump in on the buzz that similar products such as Quora and Yahoo Answers have seen.

But a blog post from Twitter on the subject was vague on the purpose of the acquisition. While acknowledging that the Twitter team has been impressed by the “thinking behind the question-and-answer product,” it only said the Fluther hires would be focusing on “helping users discover the most relevant content on Twitter.”

One Twitter rep declined to provide any more specifics on the matter, but another ended any speculation.

“It’s about hiring great people,” the rep tells Fast Company. “We’re not going to integrate Fluther’s offering–so no, regarding Q&A service.”


What the team will be focusing on instead is not known. Fluther founder Ben Finkel told TechCrunch that even he was unsure on where his team would land at Twitter–he wasn’t even certain what his title would be.

If Twitter is secretly developing a Q&A service after all, hopefully they’ll start coming up with some clearer answers for us–not to mention Finkel and his team.

Follow Austin Carr on Twitter.