Twitters New Hatchlings
As an avid Twitter user I was extremely thankful to see the release of Twhirl the application that let me post to Twitter without being logged into the website, then I found TweetDeck, to which I am addicted, mainly because it allows me to create interest groups in columns and read the Tweets I want to read, while still allowing me to keep an eye on the general stream of Tweets.
It seems that there is not a week that goes by without the release of a new Twitter application. I am currently writing a series of articles about some that are still in Alpha development and some that are now released and are targeting the Enterprise market. Only today I came across two new ones: Flockup and Phweet. Some of the applications offer new functionality, some offer a very limited functionality or target only one part of the Twitter data set. Qwitter for example simply notifies you of when someone unfollows you and sends you an email of who and after which tweet they unfollowed you, of course there is some doubt about the correlation of those two events but nonetheless its somewhat interesting data. Brian Solis maintains what is arguably the most comprehensive list of Twitter applications available.
With an estimated 3 million users Twitter is still a long way behind the giants of social media like Facebook, but like Facebook it has spawned an industry of its own in the application development world. As I mentioned some of the applications are aimed more at the individual user, they provide an element of fun, or extend the functionality of the original site.
Others are now venturing into the corporate user space. I wrote an article this week for Mashable on a new tool called Tweeple Twak that is currently in development. It is going to provide corporate users with the type of metrics that they can’t easily generate on their own using Twitter. Yet others, like the application provided by Visible Technologies, the Seattle based Brand management company, allow large organizations like Dell & Microsoft to monitor social media platforms for conversations, blogs, micro-blogs and even videos that mention their brand or products.
The Twitter data set is limited in its exploitation only by the imagination of the developers producing applications that utilize it. I have no doubt we will continue to see the birth of new Twitter hatchlings in the coming months and I would certainly expect that they will start to enter the consciousness of mainstream marketers who will in turn promote the development of newer applications once they understand what can be achieved with the data.
Given that we are seeing a reported down turn in the global economy and the scepticsm with which Social Media is still viewed by traditional marketers, you have to wonder at the future of these applications. Twitter itself has yet to figure out its own monetization path, it may just be that its hatchlings work out the path to monetization before Twitter does.
Know of a Twitter based application that is making money for its developers? Share it here.