The catalogue of registered Twitter applications recently reached the 1 million mark, an increase of about 850,000 applications in the past year. “A new app is registered every 1.5 seconds, fueling a spike in ecosystem growth in the areas of analytics, curation and publisher tools,” the company said.
The exponential growth in Twitter applications is a sign that significant opportunities exist for external developers with valuable ideas for tools that help end users, publishers and marketers on the microblogging service, the company said.
Twitter developers, of which there are about 750,000 worldwide, have attracted more than US$500 million from investors since December of last year. During the same time period, larger companies have paid more than US$1 billion to outright acquire Twitter developer firms, Twitter said.
“This level of investment is indicative of the opportunity for developers and entrepreneurs to build successful businesses as part of the Twitter platform,” the company claimed.
Twitter’s relationship with external developers, a lovefest by all accounts in the company’s first few years, has been portrayed by disgruntled developers as increasingly frayed in the past 18 months or so. The source of the discontent has been Twitter’s decision to build native functionality into the site that it considers core to its operation, such as photo sharing and official mobile applications.
Developers whose applications had been providing the functionality Twitter is now offering have complained that the company’s decision has made their products redundant.
The issue flared up again a few weeks ago when it transpired that Twitter had no plans to hold its Chirp developer conference this year, prompting some developers to organise an alternative one.
Along with the news that its platform now hosts more than one million applications, Twitter also unveiled a revamped website for developers, which it described as providing better “communication channels,” “improved reference material and documentation” and “better interaction” for visitors.
“We focused on tightly structuring the content so it is more easily discoverable and understandable. Because the site will have to change over time to serve the needs of our evolving community, we relaunched it using Drupal, which provides more flexibility, better tools than we had and a large developer network with whom we can work more closely,” the company said in another blog post.
Among the site enhancements are a new discussion forum, more varied content in the blog, an improved search engine and an upgraded app manager section.