Twitter is hosting its first-ever developers conference this week. The San Francisco event, called Chirp, is surfacing some interesting new turns for the cutting-edge tech company. Here are some of the new ideas coming out of the conference and their possible impact. (You can find some great photos from Chirp right here.) You might see a common theme: Google is getting very involved.
- Twitter's Very Own URL Shortener TechCrunch's Erick Schonfeld says "CEO Evan Williams just confirmed plans to launch its own link shortener on stage during the final Q&A session at Chirp. He noted that it would be 'stupid' not to add native link-shortening capabilities into Twitter." The as-yet un-named shortener could be the death knell for services like bit.ly or tinyurl, which rely heavily on Twitter users.
- More Geo-Targeting PC World's Harry McCracken enthuses, "An upcoming feature called Points of Interest, which leverages the service's new geolocation feature, will let you find tweets made at a particular geographic location-a sort of rudimentary echo of services like Foursquare, but without the check-in part." He writes, "Twitter is rolling out new API features which should eventually result in better third-party clients, including Places (a database of information about geographic locations)."
- Google Android App TechTree reports, "Twitter CEO Evan Williams has announced that the company intends to come up with a native Android app. ... This comes just days after Twitter bought Tweetie and announced that it would become the official Twitter app on the iPhone. As of now, it remains to be seen if Twitter has a similar strategy in sight to cover up its Android ground too."
- New Feature: Revenue MediaMemo's Peter Kafka writes on Twitter's plan to start actually making money. "Twitter has quietly been reaching out to marketers about its new ad platform for a few months, but now it’s a full-fledged marketing blitz. The messaging service rolled out its ad strategy to the press last night; today it’s going directly to the ad industry." The plan is to charge advertisers to push sponsored Tweets to users' Twitter feeds. "He refuses to call the ads, 'ads.' They’re 'just tweets.'"
- Via Google, Smart Suggestions CNet's Lance Whitney asks, "Looking for more folks to follow on Twitter? Google may be able to help. The search giant unveiled on Wednesday a new feature dubbed Follow Finder, according to its blog. Revealed at Twitter's Chirp developers conference this week, Follow Finder tries to uncover more Twitter accounts, or tweeps, that you may want to follow based on the ones you have already accumulated."