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.")