What if you had access to the millions of tweets that flow to and from Twitter users every day? Perhaps you'd build something like PostRank, which amasses them along with other data from social media sites to trackcyber-reaction to posted articles. Or maybe you would filter them by demographic and figure out a way to sell targeted banner ads.
The sky's the limit, so you might want to start noodling. According to Twitter platform director Ryan Sarver, speaking this week at the Le Web conference in Paris, access to its data stream is about to get easier. On Wednesday, Sarver revealed Twitter's plans to open the "firehose," the data stream of tweets that until now had not been generally available. Still, the company said that upwards of 50,000 applications had been built using the existing Twitter API. For comparison, Facebook claims about 10 times that many. The move will take place sometime next year.
Sarver also pledged to communicate more with developers about its intentions, will launch a new developer Web site within the next few weeks, and is planning a developer conference in San Francisco some time in 2010. For more information about the so-called "Chirp" conference, enter your email address at the Chirp Web site.