In a bid to attract new users and stem stunted growth, Twitter has created a new ‘Sign-Up’ API (application programming interface) which will make it possible for anyone to create an account when away from the site.
So far the functionality is only live on US local online guide, Citysearch, and has not been released publicly. Businesses with profiles on Citysearch which create Twitter accounts using the new API, will have their tweets appear on their Citysearch business page.
Technology blog, Mashable, thinks the fact that Twitter chose Citysearch to launch the API on is indicative of Twitter’s future business model.
“It’s interesting that Twitter chose Citysearch to be the first to use the API. It’s clearly targeting businesses with this move. With the likelihood of paid accounts for businesses and brands coming this year, it’s understandable why Twitter’s focusing on these businesses and business users.
“Businesses keep looking for new ways to integrate with Twitter, but the launch of the Sign-Up API with Citysearch may be one of the most important integrations yet”, said Mashable’s Ben Parr.
Recently Twitter Japan announced it was to add paid for premium accounts from next January. It plans to introduce a tiered payment model that will charge audiences to view tweets from premium Twitter accounts.
Kenichi Sugi, chief operating officer of DG Mobile (a subsidiary of Twitter Japan investor Digital Garage), announced the changes at the Mobidec2009 conference two weeks ago. He said that Twitter would be adding paid subscription options from January 2010 – which would allow account holders to charge audiences for access to their tweets, links to external websites and images.
Mobile is also being prioritised by the business, which has famously yet to turn a profit – despite intense media coverage and a large userbase.
Evan Williams, Twitter’s chief executive, told The Telegraph at Web 2.0 in San Francisco, in September 2009, that mobile in countries like Japan and India – was a big focus because the reach and revenue potential are undeniably huge.
Two months ago Twitter signed a major SMS deal with India’s largest mobile operator, Bharti Airtel, enabling its customers to send tweets via texting.
The company is in talks with mobile phone carriers all over the world to secure similar SMS deals, which allow people to post and receive tweets via text message, without the need for web access.
Millions of people already post tweets via SMS, use Twitter mobile or third party apps on the go, but the intention is to ensure the company has deals with all the major mobile phone carriers in its target territories, so people can use Twitter at all times.
Twitter also working with handset developers to integrate the service as part of the phone. (Via Telegraph)