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Third party Twitter apps now top one million

Twitter announced on Monday that the number of applications registered at the popular microblogging service has topped a million.

Word of the milestone was released as the San Francisco-based startup launched a new website at dev.twitter.com for software developers interested in tailoring fun, hip or functional programs for Twitter.

The aim of the new developer portal, built using the open-source Drupal CMS, is to create a more centralised platform for third-party developers. Twitter hopes that the new systems will provide “more flexibility, better tools… and a large developer network with whom [they] can work more closely”.

“Application developers play a fundamental role in helping people get the best out of Twitter,” the firm said in a blog post, “[as] apps help people understand and make the most of Twitter.”

New features of the Twitter developer site include:

Discussions: Twitter has moved away from the mailing list to create a new Discussions section, where users will find “Hot Topics” for the most popular conversations. Users can also subscribe to the categories and threads that interest them most, and there is a “Dev Teatime” section to “focus on a more social side of the community,” as well as a Feedback section.

Developer Blog: The new blog will provide information about important API announcements, events, tips and how-tos, case studies on apps, product insights, and more. Twitter will be featuring content from a variety of different in-house teams, as well as highlighting showcase applications built on the platform. Twitter will also feature guest blog posts from community members.

Better Documentation: The Twitter developer docs will be easier to keep up-to-date, and “have better structure and searchability and should feel more intuitive”.

Improved Apps Management: The new app manager has a more “streamlined design that provides more comprehensive information for your app,” Twitter says.

Enhanced Search: Twitter has developed a unified search engine with filters, powered by Apache Solr, and expects results to be more relevant. Users can now also search the archive from Twitter’s Groups mailing list.

Third-party applications tailored for Twitter range from games and picture posting programs, to software tools for mining trends or other information from the flood of terse text messages fired off around the world each day.

A new Twitter application is registered every 1.5 seconds, with the number of “apps” soaring from 150,000 a year ago, according to the company. The apps have been built by more than 750,000 developers around the world.

Founded in 2006, more than 200 million people are reported to use the service for sharing news, thoughts, pictures and more in text messages of 140 or fewer characters.

A recent study by the Pew Research Centre said 13 percent of online US adults use Twitter, up from eight percent in November 2010. — AFP with staff reporting.

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