What Is Teatime?
Twitter announced on their blog that they would be doing a "developer tour." Well, it kickstarted this past week in London, and I'm here to report all the juicy details!
The event, dubbed "Developer's Teatime" was held at 93feet east in the east end of London, hashtag #teatimeUK. We turned up to find the doors were locked, and a slightly scary bartender led us into a dark, but trendy room to "wait." The room was lit up with iphones. Never in my life have I seen that many apple products under one roof, but in a room full of Twitter 3rd party developers, I guess it's par for the course. We were then led into an even darker room, with a well stocked bar, but not very well stocked with furniture (no chairs), and the evening began. On stage was Ryan Sarver, the well known Twitter api guy often quoted for saying "don't build twitter clients anymore," which, he actually clarified later in the night. He gave the "state of the union" address.
What's Happening at Twitter
According to @rsarver and @jasoncosta, there is a lot of opportunity right now to work with the platform. They are hiring at an alarming rate (and even put an open call into the room if anyone wanted to come apply to work at Twitter), and they are really putting emphasis around products that can take Twitter's data and use it in new and exciting ways. Examples cited were gathering political data (a talk was given by Tweetminster), and saving your digital legacy (a la Loccit). He emphasized that now, more than ever, they are relying on their community of 3rd party developers to take the crazy amounts of information and data that goes through Twitter, to innovate and build products around it.
A New, More Twitterized Tweetdeck
Iain Dodsworth, founder of the recently acquired Tweetdeck took the stage, and explained a little about his journey as a third party developer who then got gobbled up by Twitter. He emphasized, more than once, that Tweetdeck has always been "all about Twitter", and that it's always been primarily a Twitter client, and that any other integrations were really just "bonus." He then went on to say that they are working on a new Tweetdeck with the folks at Twitter. When asked why they killed off Deck.ly, he replied that even though the team had worked hard on it, and believed it was a good addition, the fact is that Tweetdeck is a Twitter product now, and if parts of Tweetdeck need to be brought closer to the Twitter brand "that's not a bad thing."
The CTO of Peer Index, Sanford Dickert also took to the stage, as an example of how Twitter data is being used by the UK influence measurement company. He talked about how they look to Twitter's data to help measure how influential a person is, not just overall, but how engaged they are on certain topics. He also gave a shout out to some integration partners like MarketMeSuite.
A Friendlier Twitter
After the presentations, the open bar, courtesy of Index Ventures was put to good use, and team Twitter spent the evening mingling. For many developers, this was the first time they were able to see a softer, friendlier Twitter. A Twitter team you can go out and have a beer with. A Twitter that is a partner in the success of 3rd party apps, and an ecosystem that is now showing some balance. A Twitter team that realizes there's a world outside of San Francisco. Overwhelmingly, the 70 or so people in the room appreciated the extra effort to kick off this tour in London.
What Does It Mean For Normal Users?
The fact that Twitter is willing to travel thousands of miles to connect more personally with the developers of the apps you use everyday speaks to the fact that Twitter has big plans. They have every intention of continued growth, integration (just look at ios5 for this) and relevance. When the ecosystem is strong the platform is strong, and the users get the best experience possible.
Who Wrote This Post?
I'm CEO for MarketMeSuite, the social media marketing dashboard. And big news... we're now free! Please check it out and be sure to let me know what you think.