Despite Twitter (news, site) buying up the most popular third-party apps, there is still a booming market for new tools to help manage the sprawling Twitterverse, and guess who is helping Twitter support that market? Aquia & Drupal.
Twitter Goes Drupal
Well close, Twitter selected Acquia Drupal to be the home of its new Developer community. According to Drupal founder Dries Buytaert, they have been working on this for awhile now.
Developers are like molecules, vibrating with intensity and vigor. Their individual movements can seem random. But together in the right environment, they can form waves -- or snowflakes. Nurturing a community in which both are possible is the challenge every software project faces; I'd like to think that Twitter, through Drupal, is creating the right environment.
The Twitter Developer community isn't the only developer community Drupal supports, Brightcove and Symantec Connect are two others. Ryan Sarver, Twitter's Director of Platform said that Drupal was selected for its customization and flexibility. Considering the amount of developers who will be accessing the new developer community, it's also a testimony to the scalability and usability of Drupal as a community platform.
While unveiling its new developer site, Twitter tried to downplay its aggressive moves in the app space by pointing out that there are now some 750,000 developers signed up and over a million apps in the market. Perhaps all those developers want to be the next Tweetdeck, and get snapped up by the mothership.
The new site will help app creators find more relevant content and advice, either in the guides, discussion forums or the developer's blog. With its REST and streaming APIs, Twitter developers can have access to historical or live Twitter data, and bend and shape it into the desired form, be it for statistical analysis or finding the right "influencers" to promote a product.
Looking for the Analytics
Many of those million apps are likely just buttons, feeds or other gizmos. But there are plenty of apps to boost the quality of tweet a user sees, streamline feeds or twist it for contact management and other uses.
The rise of social media analytics is one area where enterprises and companies are taking a real interest, trying to define their customers, hone media messages and manage the social to-and-fro of chat, recommendation and complaint.
Twitter last week picked up BackType for its own social analytics purposes. But with so much data to handle, and so many end-user needs, this section of the market is booming as business looks to monetize and gain advantage from social media. While Twitter plans out its own route to IPO and beyond, the rest of the ecosystem is still growing at a frenetic pace, and we await the next visualization or analytic leap with great interest.