SAN FRANCISCO--Twitter platform lead Ryan Sarver said to an audience of developers at the company's Chirp developer conference on Wednesday that Twitter's team wants to "support you and kind of push you--challenge you to think bigger." Bigger than just another Twitter client, that is.
"We're really excited to be here to support you not just to think big, but to build big," Sarver said. "If developers are so critical to our success, we need to work really hard to help support you, help fulfill you, and make sure that you have all the tools you need to build businesses and build meaningful products."
It's a particularly touchy time for Twitter developers because of new fears that have recently bubbled to the surface: Twitter announced last week that it is collaborating with BlackBerry manufacturer Research in Motion to build an official app for the handsets, and that it has acquired Atebits, manufacturer of iPhone app Tweetie. There are, obviously, lots of Twitter clients out there, and one Twitter investor referred to these apps as fundamentally "filling holes" that Twitter should have in its own service.
Sarver assured developers that the company has not declared war on them, saying that "our success is intrinsically linked together" and that developer-created applications are responsible for 75 percent of Twitter activity and 60 percent of the 55 million tweets posted every day.
Sarver announced several forthcoming updates to Twitter's developer application program interface (API): annotations, which will let developers add arbitrary metadata to anything in the system; "places," the company's geotagged directory; user streams, which will give developers access to Facebook-like activity items like one Twitter user following another and a user adding a tweet as a "favorite" in real-time; and dev.twitter.com, a central hub for developer activity. The end result of this is that he hopes the greater resources for developers will give them the ability to make deeper, higher-quality apps.
He said Twitter's team wants to work directly with developers on "how can we make bigger apps, how can we change the world, how can we help people in different corners of the world communicate."… Read more