The Twitter Platform's Inflection Point. I was emailing with a friend of mine yesterday who is a 30 year veteran of silicon valley.
He'd written a post that was quite positive about the iPad. I sent him my post which wasn't so positive. We had a good discussion. Bit.ly’s Borthwick: Twitter, Thanks For The Ride. On Wednesday at Twitter’s Chirp conference, CEO Evan Williams released another bomb during the wrap-up Q&A session: Twitter is working on creating it’s own link shortener for Twitter.com.
Once again, in the space of a week, Twitter declared it was moving into an area previously occupied by another company in the Twitter eco-system, in this case bit.ly, which grew on the back of Twitter when it became the default link shortener on the service in May, 2009. I was able to speak with bit.ly and betaworks CEO John Borthwick yesterday about Twitter’s unwinding of their relationship. The impact on bit.ly may be negligible, at least in the short run.
It turns out that Twitter stopped using bit.ly as it’s default shortener on Twitter.com back in early December, except for one specific use-case. And even before then, Twitter.com accounted for only about 5 percent of link encodes. Developers In Denial: The Seesmic Case Study. Twitter devs: get over it and build real apps. Much of the early work on the Twitter Platform has been filling holes in the Twitter product.
It is the kind of work General Computer was doing in Cambridge in the early 80s. Some of the most popular third party services on Twitter are like that. Mobile clients come to mind. Photo sharing services come to mind. URL shorteners come to mind. Holy Cow Did Twitter's Top Investor Drop A Bombshell On Twitter. You Asked Twitter to Grow Up. They Have. And You're Mad? The Friday night surprise of Twitter having acquired Tweetie from Atebits, and adding its creator, Loren Brichter, to the company's swelling mobile team, on the back of Twitter's also announcing their first mobile client for BlackBerry, not only was big news on its own, but it has set off waves in the world of Twitter application developers and users, some of whom are seeing the move as something akin to a betrayal or an anti-competitive move, which puts the owners of the platform in conflict with those expanding it.
While I am sympathetic to some of their positions, having seen competitive clients find the world in which they live a lot more difficult, the step is a brilliant one, which is an important stepping stone in terms of moving Twitter forward as a business. For years, as users and coders, we begged for Twitter to graduate from the lean startup mode, with questionable quality and uptime, to one focused on delivering an exceptional product. But enough about that. My Friend Twitter.
This is going to make two blog posts in a row that are “off the cuff” for me.
This one particularly so, because it involves a lot of emotion, and not a lot of certainty. There are some arguments to be made, but most of it is about how I feel. Is Twitter going to pull a bait and switch on developers? Fred Wilson, a well-known venture capitalist whose firm has invested in Twitter, published a blog post earlier this week that raised eyebrows amongst third party developers who develop on the Twitter platform.
The reason? It sent an ominous message to many of them: Twitter might put you out of business soon. Wilson explained: Much of the early work on the Twitter Platform has been filling holes in the Twitter product. It is the kind of work General Computer was doing in Cambridge in the early 80s. Twitter Developers In Denial: A Teaser Video. Update: Full video is here.
We had Loic Le Meur of Seesmic, and Nick Halsted of Tweetmeme at TechCrunch today to talk about the ongoing Twitter developer ecosystem story. It was a fairly contentious discussion as we tried to wade through all the b.s. and get to the meat of the story. We’ll post the full video tomorrow, but here’s a teaser where I debate Loic on whether or not he saw the direct competition coming.
Tensions Rise for Twitter and Outside App Developers - NYTimes.c. "Dear Twitter: Stop Screwing Over Your Developers" The Seesmic Squeeze: how a company responds to market changes in. Take a pile of carbon and apply enough heat and pressure and you’ll get diamonds.
Of course you might just not get it right and will end up with a pile of ash. If you talk with Loic Le Meur, CEO of Seesmic, he tells a story of feeling squeezed, just like a batch of carbon. Squeezed by the press, like Techcrunch, who said that Le Meur is in denial of the storm brewing over the Twitter ecosystem after Twitter announced it will compete with the client partners it so famously enabled. Of course were hole fillers and why no-one sh. Twitter itself is filling a hole (start here if you don’t know what this is all about), the status update craze hole it mostly created.
We’re filing another hole, if you want to keep in touch with your friends or build your brand you have to share and constantly check all your comments, likes, mentions on all major social software, that’s my company Seesmic’s hole, our empty space, our opportunity. F*CK you naysayers. Twitter did NOT f*ck us a. You guys are WRONG Twitter will keep getting huge and growing WITH its developers.
It’s been a really stressful few days for the Twitter developers from the announcements of Friday to this decisive day of Chirp. Chirp started really with a fresh room this morning, ask Ryan Sarver when he said his goal was developer happiness and asked us “are you happy” and a minority answered, obviously still under shock from Twitter competing more with its developers. There were in fact some more bad news for the developers today: Evan Williams confirmed an Android app and hinted that bit.ly would be removed as url shortener as well as the high probability that they will integrate media (photo services come to mind).
I am focusing myself on the good news from Twitter itself -strong commitment to keep the APIs open and not use internal APIs only for themselves Trust is back and investments will keep going big time in the space Developers still have to adapt to this new deal. Seesmic, TweetMeme Say Twitter Ecosystem Is Just Fine, Thank You. Yesterday we showed a teaser of our conversation with Loic Le Meur of Seesmic, and Nick Halstead of Tweetmeme. Here’s the full video, in two parts. Chirp » The Official Twitter Developer Conference. Evan Williams: “Twitter Is the Ecosystem” Twitter is holding its first developer conference, Chirp, today in San Francisco.
Co-founder Biz Stone opened with now familiar stories of how Twitter has been used for the betterment of humanity. He also (to his own chagrin, since he’s not a numbers guy) dropped a few stats about the service: 105,779,710 registered Twitter users; 300,000 signups per day; 180 million uniques/month. Ev Explains Twitter’s Move Into Mobile Apps: “Otherwise We Are F. Twitter caused much consternation among developers last week when it started filling holes in its product line, primarily by moving into mobile apps. Specifically, it launched its own Blackberry app and acquired the startup behind Tweetie, one of the most popular Twitter apps on the iPhone. During his presentation today at Chirp, CEO Evan Williams tried to explain why Twitter feels the need to compete with app developers in this area.
“We need to address these markets in abetter way,” he told the assembled developers. Some might take that to mean that their mobile apps suck and Twitter is going to come in to fix things. But Ev’s point is more that mobile is too important for Twitter not to have its own official apps, especially for newbie users confused by too many choices in the various mobile app stores. Evan Williams’s Message to Twitter Developers - Bits Blog - NYTi. What I Learned at Twitter’s First Chirp Conference. Twitter’s Chirp conference this week was ultimately an overdue kickoff of the company’s developer community. With more than 100,000 applications created on its platform to date, it’s frankly amazing that Twitter hadn’t formalized its road map and addressed competition with developers before. Here are the excuses: Twitter is small and young.
Twitter has had trouble enough scaling to meet demand and stay online. Twitter never anticipated the ways people would use and extend it. All fair. Twitter Officially Responds To Developers. Tries To Calm Fears. Full message at the bottom of this post. I went to Chirp and all I got was this lousy lollypop - Peter Co. I flew out from NYC with other members from the Hunch team to the twitter chirp conference this week in San Francisco. Here are some of my thoughts in no particular order, topics are code writers, let’s talk business, @anywhere, filling holes, misc.
Code Writers Will.i.am from the Black Eyed Peas was hanging out at the conference (often chilling with Ron Conway). I’d normally describe my profession as being a “developer” or a “software engineer,” but funny enough he used the term “code writers”—saying that they will be closely involved with bands in the future (as the medium for delivery of music continues to change). This term immediately sounded silly to me, but it started to grow on me. Twitter Gets More Features, and Competitors. Twitter Revamps Its Web Site. Twitter To Add “Nifty” Site Features That May Make You Forget Th. Twitter Fills Its First Hole With An Official BlackBerry App. That didn’t take long. Twitter’s Acquisition, Chirp & Managing Developer Relationships. Twitter acquires maker of Tweetie, stoking concern among develop. Twitter 'could build its own client' Tweetmeme’s Button Impressions Collapsed 20% After Twitter’s Button Launched. Investors Squeamish About Third-Party Twitter Apps [STATS]
According to private-company intelligence firm CB Insights, now is a particularly bad time to try to raise money if you're a company built on top of Twitter. The ecosystem of third-party Twitter apps has seen a 50% decline in early-stage investment over the past year. Whether it's due to Twitter's evolving business model or due to the number and nature of new apps on the market, investors have decidedly cooled on "pure play" Twitter applications in the past 12 months. Between June 2008 and May 2009, a total of $21.6 million was pumped into Twitter-based startups. However, between June 2009 and this May, that number had dropped to just $10.4 million. This number would include such deals as TweetPhoto's $2.6 million Series A, around $2 million for oneforty, and a round of an undisclosed amount for TwitVid from DFJ. The number of deals have seemed to hold steady, but the amount per round has dropped by about half year-over-year.