2010 is going to be the year of the location-based services. While Location-based social networks made inroads in 2009, nothing will compare to the anticipated growth this coming year. In the last twelve months, we have seen the rise of several location based start-ups, Foursquare, Gowalla and Brightkite are a just a few of the exciting apps out there. Yet, until now, the bigger players have held back.
But no longer...Twitter based on a couple of stealth moves made in December is going to lead the charge, by catapulting these services into the stratosphere. With the news that Twitter is permitting ALL of their 50,000+ developers full access to their "firehose" of realtime data, coupled with their recent acquisition of Mixer Labs and their GeoAPI service, it appears that Twitter may end up dominationg the location-based service space sooner than any one thought.
Firehose Will Open the Floodgates to 50,000+
Ryan SarverRyan Sarver, Twitter's director of platform, speaking at the LeWeb conference in Paris in early December, told attendees at that conference that Twitter's "firehose" of realtime data will now be provided to developers, big and small.
This is a major move, since 50,000+ developers will now have an opportunity to create more robust APIs, if they so choose. It will provide ordinary coders the same access to data that only players like Google and Bing had previously. Think about the multiplying factor here. In stead of handful of developers challenged with the monumental task of building a better location-based service, Twitter has brilliantly opened the floodgates to tens of thousands to work on the same initiative. This not only paves the way for the best creative and innovative solutions it also speeds up the developement time to launch new products and services quicker.
Acquisition of Major Geo-Location Service
GeoAPI developer Mixer LabsTwitter has acquired GeoAPI developer Mixer Labs to work on location data for users' The service helps developers build location-based services for Twitter and other social-networking sites. With location added to tweets, Twitter will begin the process of a robust set of locations services to emerge. GeoAPI is a location service platform that has been collecting data from Flikr, Foursquare, YouTube, Weatherbug and ofcourse Twitter.
Based on Sarver's previous work at MyLoki, a location service he knows what works and what doesn't work, according to Brady Forrest at O'Reilly Radar. "MyLoki never gained ubiquity, (but) Twitter has the opportunity to become a major location broker. Twitter currently has a very simple on/off switch for location. To become a full-fledged consumer location service (like Latitude or Fire Eagle) they will need to build in more controls."
And that's where the 50,000 developers come into play. It's not rocket science to figure that Twitter will send those 50,000 developers in to attack the "location" initiative, in the same way a world leader would deploy 50,000 troops into a territory to achieve a military maneuver. The more troops, the more chance of success!
50,000+ Deployed to San Francisco
OneForty described as a Twitter outfitter, with resources for all things Twitter is now tracking 2173 APIs for Twitter. While that sounds heck of a lot of apps, it pales in comparison to the 50,000+ applications that have been registered using Twitter's API's. This is an incredible milestone when one realizes that just three short years ago, only one API existed. Now, to commemorate this phenomenal growth Twitter is planning its first- time developer conference in San Francisco next year, and all 50,000+ developers are invited to the event!
Details about the date and exact location in San Francisco for Chirp have not been made public, but Twitter launched a dedicated page for the conference where users can sign up for updates.
To comprehend just how important APIs are to Twitter, Sarver says that 50% of all of Twitter's traffic comes from apps. If that be the case, just think what Twitter's 50,000 will be capable of developing in 2010 during and after the Chirp Conference. If 2010 is the going to go down as the year of "location," I think the origin of its exponential growth will all start in "San Francisco" - date and venue to be determined.