Liz Gannes

Recent Posts by Liz Gannes

No First Birthday Party for Twitter's Chirp Conference This Year

One year ago this week, Twitter held its first developer conference, Chirp, a glossy multiday event put on at picturesque venues on San Francisco Bay with an afterparty DJed by will.i.am.

Twitter has not scheduled Chirp 2.0, said spokesman Sean Garrett, but it does hope to host such an event at some point. In the meantime, the company is planning smaller developer gatherings, he said, adding that Twitter is “going to do more low-key stuff before we go big again.”

Chirp 2010 was perhaps a premature commitment by Twitter to grow up and become a business, laying out various revenue models and developer road maps.

At the time, Twitter was on shaky footing with its developers, having announced in the days prior to the conference that it was buying Atebits, maker of Tweetie, the leading Twitter client for the iPhone.

Amidst claims of betrayal, Twitter tried to make the best of the situation by engaging with critics and welcoming developers under its wing. It was sometimes awkward, but not unsuccessful.

Things are much different a year later. Dick Costolo, who played a supporting role at the event by walking through the company’s “@anywhere” publisher tools, is now CEO. Jack Dorsey, who was then absent, is back at the company leading product.

Featured speakers Evan Williams and Jason Goldman, then CEO and head of product, are no longer working at the company on a day-to-day business.

The most consistent players in the line-up are Biz Stone and Ryan Sarver, who have maintained their roles as Chief Late-Night Talk Show Guest and Bearer of (Often Bad) News to Developers.

One thing that hasn’t happened in the last year is a big business being built from the ground up on Twitter’s platform, like Zynga on Facebook. The most successful outcome for a Twitter-related business to date was probably Salesforce.com’s $326 million purchase of social media monitoring company Radian6 in March.

Meanwhile, Facebook also has yet to announce a date for its developer conference, known as f8, which was held in April last year, too. That event has been mostly annual, but somewhat irregularly scheduled. A representative for the company said f8 2011 is definitely happening, but didn’t offer a date.

Consumer Web heavyweight Google is much more on the ball, and sold out registration to its May I/O conference months ago.

Photo of will.i.am at the Chirp party courtesy of Flickr user d.mosher.


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