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Twitter looking to bring 3rd-party developers back on board?

Twitter waged war on 3rd-party developers some years ago. The company now finds itself trying to strategically re-think its model and trying to get developers back on board.

Published onJuly 14, 2015


In the midst of a new CEO search, Twitter is realizing it’s more than a mere social network. The service represents a “real-time information network” that would be better off treated as a platform, something Twitter co-founder Evan Williams claims they didn’t see before.

Every good platform needs extensive 3rd-party developer support, but the social network is in a tight situation, caused by a long time of pushing app makers away. Twitter waged war on 3rd-party developers some years ago. The company now finds itself trying to strategically re-think its model and get developers back on board.

“Twitter’s revenue stream is pretty good. I wouldn’t say we haven’t figured that out. The business is really solid, but we have so much potential with the new products we could develop.” -Evan Williams, Twitter co-founder

Twitter has a lot of convincing to do after all this time limiting support for developers. They wanted to keep tighter control on their ecosystem, which led to placing tighter restrictions on their APIs and limiting how many users these Twitter replacement apps could have. A couple of the most affected apps were Falcon Pro and Carbon for Twitter, which quickly became very popular and exceeded these limitations.

Williams goes on to mention Twitter is working on harnessing its service’s power as a news source. He states Twitter is “guaranteed to have all the info you are looking for: first hand reports, rumors, links to stories as soon as they are published. All that is there.” This will play an important role in moving forward.

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Something that dampens the loud noise Twitter can make is the way the feed is set up. It’s a hassle to find important news in a sea of other irrelevant posts. “It’s hard to find exactly what you’re looking for,” says Evan Williams. Is it possible third-party developers are an important part of this? We are not exactly sure, nor is Evan Williams willing to say more. What we do know is Twitter sure does have much amending to do before they make it all right for our beloved mobile developers.

I, for one, would be excited to see Twitter opening its arms to more software creators. Wouldn’t you?

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