Media Money with Julia Boorstin

Twitter gets Developers on Board for Growth, Monetization Plan


Twitter's moves in the past week could be seen as a direct threat to the thousand developers gathered for its "Chirp"conference.

Official Twitter iPhone and Blackberry apps plus new search ads aim to make money from Twitter, which until now has just been developers' territory.

Some developers here tell me Twitter's announcements sparked some anxiety in the developer community over the weekend -- concerns that their businesses would be hurt. But here at the conference the mood is calm and upbeat. One developer told me "the most Twitter was culpable of was poor communication" in explaining how these changes would affect the community.

Venture capitalists who invest in Twitter-based applications aren't at all deterred by Twitter's new business push--they're reassured to get more insight into the company's plan. Mike Hirshland from Polaris Ventures says this will give developers a lot more clarity about where to focus their attentions. Hirshland says that developers are eager for reassurance about stability in Twitter's platform. Venrock Capital partner David Packman says he's not surprised Twitter is expanding, the question now is where application developers go on top of this richer Twitter platform. This puts more pressure on developers to be more creative than ever to distinguish from Twitter's core service.

Entrepreneurs tell me they're optimistic about all these changes growing the overall pie. The theory: The easier Twitter is to use, the more users it'll get. And twitter putting ads in its search results gets users used to the idea of ads existing in the social platform.

Serial entrepreneur Bill Gross just introduced TweetUp, which enables paid promoted Tweets, and seems on a collision course with Twitter. But Gross is heading to Chirp to meet with Twitter execs to collaborate and build a billion dollar business. If there is real concern about competition cannibalizing business I'm not hearing it here.

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