Plurk is a free social networking and micro-blogging service that allows users to send updates (otherwise known as plurks) through short messages or links, which can be up to 140 text characters in length.
Updates are then shown on the user's home page using a timeline which lists all the updates received in chronological order, and delivered to other users who have signed up to receive them. Users can respond to other users' updates from their timeline through the Plurk.com website, by instant messaging, or by text messaging.
Plurk was developed by and envisioned as a communication medium meant to form a balance between blogs and social networks, and between e-mail messaging and instant messaging. After months of development, Plurk was launched on May 2008.
The etymology of the name was explained by the developers as such:
- abbreviation of 'people' and 'lurk'
- portmanteau of 'play' and 'work'
- acronym of peace, love, unity, respect, and karma
- verb neologism, similar to how Google was eventually used as a verb
Plurk also supports group conversations between friends and allows usage of emoticons together with the usual text micro-blogging.
The Plurk.com developers released public access to API on December 4, 2009
Due to messages being sent between users in near-realtime, many users use Plurk as an alternative to chat.