Friday 11 February 2011

Twitter delegates the monetisation strain to its developers

On the Twitter Development Google Group, Twitter announced today that they'll stop whitelisting. Whitelisting basically lifts an application developer's limitation of 150 Twitter requests per hour, that mere mortals suffer from

Beginning today, Twitter will no longer grant whitelisting requests.
We will continue to allow whitelisting privileges for previously
approved applications; however any unanswered requests recently
submitted to Twitter will not be granted whitelist access

Unfortunately, my TwUniverse will be one of the latter - filed a request twice in the past months now, and never got a response

The fine print is at the end:

Developers interested in elevated access to the Twitter stream for the purpose of research or analytics can contact our partner Gnip for more information

Twitter offers the streaming API as alternative, that only operates on the public tweet stream, but allows for 350 requests per hour - in stead of 150.
But the whitelists allow up to 20,000 request of everything - that's a steep step

Gnip is an extremely interesting new development. Aggregating everything from everywhere, it offers you access to all from one place - one of my wet dreams to be honest, and something Nimble does as well. But it'll be a strike to the latest Twitter services, and of course it won't be long untill the currently whitelisted ones will have to pay the bill too - making them turn to their customers for funding

In a way, it's good news. It shows Twitter is monetisable, or at least drawing a line. All those who said Twitter should develop this and that to become interesting or sustainable - they were wrong. The data is huge and impossible to retrieve with the current limitations. Time will tell how all this will fare, but it is clear that this is a step away from the jolly services, and will produce a more mature set of enterprise-ready information services

Added value will come on top of that: the much longed for sentiment analysis, filtering out chatter tweets from others, classifying by persons where the messages are from unless ReTweeted, and I'm fearing that these persons will be classified using Marketing 1.0-driven bubbles like Klout, although that won't last for long of course - but badly damage the progression

Twitter is growing up, without a doubt, and its data has become more restricted like I already predicted back in  September. Where I there claim that this was largely accidental, I think this decision was more deliberate. However, I expect Twitter to take over a good part of this monetisation in the coming years. By now deflecting it to a third party, almost doing current and future developers a favour, it might offer something extra then.
But then again, that's what I said of the new Twitter, and I was more wrong than right there too. Still, this move will certainly attract larger players out there who are forced to come up with a solid business model beforehand. In a way, maybe this will be the first stepping stone to Social Business?

So goodbye to the applets, and welcome to the applications?

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