The last few months have seen a ton of doomsday predictions and news for Twitter developers.
First, Twitter’s top investor, Fred Wilson, blogged about the fact that many Twitter apps were simply filling holes which Twitter eventually would get to itself. Two days later, Twitter announced its very own official BlackBerry app even though there were already third party BlackBerry apps in the marketplace.
Twitter also went ahead and purchased Tweetie – giving Twitter its very own official Iphone app. And, finally, this week, Twitter announced that third parties will not be allowed to inject paid tweets into a timeline or any other service that uses the Twitter API. By banning in stream ads from third parties, certain Twitter business models, such as Tweetup, may be severely damaged if not destroyed.
So, with all of that happening, Twitter developers are understandably on edge.
Click here for 10 reasons for Twitter developers to rejoice >
Evan Britton founded Sency in 2009. The goal of Sency is to bring real-time content, links, and tools to Internet users in an organised and simple fashion.
At the Chirp conference, Twitter confirmed that all of its developers will have the option to turn on Promoted Tweets as a way to generate revenue.
Twitter isn't only offering Promoted Tweets to large partners, so if your application can bring value to advertisers -- you will have the opportunity to make money from it -- regardless of your size.
When you advertise on Google, you can opt out of its partner network.
So, Google lets advertisers choose to only go on Google.com. Twitter clearly has stated that all of its advertisers will be syndicated to Twitter's developer network.
Twitter understands that its developers are responsible for the majority of Twitter traffic, and by forcing advertisers to go onto developer sites -- Twitter is giving developers an enormous vote of confidence.
At the final day of the Twitter developer conference, every single Twitter employee was required to be there
Every single Twitter employee was at the Fort Mason centre for the final day of the Chirp conference.
This gave all Twitter developers unparalleled access to employees for advice, help, and tips. If Twitter didn't care about its developers -- I am not sure they would do this.
All Twitter developers have to remember that they are getting data and information for free.
By getting access to all of Twitter's real time data, entrepreneurs are empowered to launch applications which from day one, can be a resource for users as a result of all of the data that is provided. Twitter landed deals with several sites giving them access to their Firehose of data -- thus granting those sites unlimited data and queries.
If developers have applications which grow and need higher grade access in the future -- paying for the data may be an option - and its good to know there can be options if tremendous growth occurs.
Twitter developers must remember that they are in charge of their website, users, and experience. This allows developers to innovate while building their own custom project.
And, developers, down the line, as industries evolve, can always have the option to keep their users and offer a different experience with a different data source. Twitter doesn't force websites which build upon its data to always connect to its data.
For instance, Bit.ly was a service that grew in large part to having Twitter convert its links to bit.ly links. When Twitter announced they were considering launching a URL shortener, bit.ly founder John Borthwick said he was grateful for the for the kick start Twitter gave it. While every site and situation is unique, this can be a model employed by other Twitter apps.
Down the road -- if you need to adapt, it is possible because you own the user and the experience. When you build a Facebook app -- this is less likely to be the case as the experience lives with inside Facebook. So, Twitter developers can prepare for the worst now, so that if one day the unthinkable happens -- everything won't be lost.
Filling holes that Twitter will eventually get to doesn't necessarily have to be something that causes developers to lose sleep.
In April, there was an uproar when Twitter launched its own Blackberry app. I spoke to the founder of a third-party Twitter blackberry app, and he didn't seem to be concerned. He even said traffic to his app had been steady and the reason for this is that his app already had loyal users and it offered advanced features that Twitter's app didn't offer.
Twitter apps which are in a niche that Twitter currently is in, such as our real time search engine, can differentiate themselves through building out advanced and specialised and unique features.
Twitter application developers have access to open data, and most importantly, they are able to private label their applications.
For example, you could build a sentiment engine which analyses tweets as a way to automate the process of creating polling data. This could all be done in a private labelled environment, so that when the user visits your website -- they never know the data came from twitter.
And, due to Twitter's open data, Twitter applications can be utilized by users who aren't a member of Twitter or any other social network. This opens up the entire web to developers.
Twitter released its streaming API for developers last month.
This is a major upgrade and offers a much smoother user experience as compared to the rest API. The streaming API enables a consistent connection between the application and Twitter allowing new data for a particular call to automatically appear on a developers website.
The streaming API is an option, so it simply provides another resource and tool for developers to consider.
Twitter confirmed at the recent Chirp conference that an increasing percentage of Tweets are being tagged with latitude-longitude coordinates.
This presents new and unique opportunities for Twitter developers. With Twitter offering the GEO API -- it helps to facilitate developers whom want to bake in GEO functionality into their applications. With Twitter believing in GEO and making it more easy for users to turn on location based Tweeting, and with the explosion of smart phone usage -- developers can expect a deeper and more legitimate GEO based data pool from which to work with moving forward.
Nothing is perfect, nor is all of the news and information surrounding the Twittersphere for developers.
But the Twitter API offers an opportunity for entrepreneurs to have skin the game. There are countless ways to work with the API to grow traffic or a website business. And after all, if Twitter never offered an API in the first place -- what else would Twitter developers be doing?
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