Media Money with Julia Boorstin

Chirp: Twitter & Developers Discuss Profits and Growth


"Chirp," Twitter's first-ever developers conference, is packed and buzzing with excitement about this technology changing the way people communicate.

The folks who have created this robust Twitterverse have gathered at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco to discuss where they're going next.

Source: Twitter

Twitter is exploding: its growth averages 1500 percent a year for the last three years and 70,000 applications are built on its platform. Now a flood of big announcements in the last week - a new ad model, a new Blackberry app and iPhone app - that compete with a lot of those developers.

CEO Evan Williams thanked the 1,000 developers and investors packing the auditorium, making made a point to reassure them that Twitter is committed to an open, innovative environment. Translation: Twitter gets the value of all these applications and it'll keep the platform as open as possible to encourage their growth. Williams is also totally upfront about the fact that the vast majority of Twitter activity is *not* on Twitter - it's on these other applications that bombard Twitter's server with 3 billion (yes billion) requests a day.

Twitter has grown despite being complicated and often confusing. Now the goal is to make Twitter "fast, obvious and easy," Williams says. That's one reason Twitter is launching its own Blackberry and Twitter applications - it wants to eliminate any confusion or debate about how to access the service. Williams says the first priority is building out scalable infrastructure. Twitter has already reduced error rates and delivery failure, and it has more work to do in this arena. (Twitter's "fail whale" was referred to obliquely a few times as the "sea creature that would not be named.")

The mood here is bullish about Twitter's growth. Co-founder Biz Stone says the company will be able to keep up its 1500 percent growth for a while. Williams pointed out that while 37 percent of active Twitter users use it on their phones, mobile is where the majority of the service's growth will happen.

The idea is that the easier and more accessible Twitter is, the more revenue potential there will be for Twitter and outside developers. Those developers seem remarkably unperturbed by Twitter's entrance into the money-making arena, more on that in my next blog.

Questions?  Comments?