On Fri, 11 Mar 2011 13:18:24 -0700, Ryan Sarver <rsar...@twitter.com> wrote:

Some key areas where ecosystem developers are thriving:
 - PUBLISHER TOOLS.  Companies such as SocialFlow [2] help
publishers optimize how they use Twitter, leading to increased user
engagement and the production of the right tweet at the right time. 
 - CURATION.  Mass Relevance [3] and Sulia [4] provide services for
large media brands to select, display, and stream the most interesting
and relevant tweets for a breaking news story, topic or event.  
 - REALTIME DATA SIGNALS.  Hundreds of companies use real-time
Twitter data as an input into ranking, ad targeting, or other aspects
of enhancing their own core products.  Klout [5] is an example of a
company which has taken this to the next level by using Twitter data
to generate reputation scores for individuals.  Similarly, Gnip [6]
syndicates Twitter data for licensing by third parties who want to use
our real-time corpus for numerous applications (everything from hedge
funds to ranking scores).  
such as HootSuite [7], CoTweet [8], Radian6 [9], Seesmic [10], and
Crimson Hexagon [11] help brands, enterprises, and media companies tap
into the zeitgeist about their brands on Twitter, and manage
relationships with their consumers using Twitter as a medium for
like Formspring [12], Foursquare [13], Instagram [14], and Quora [15]
have built into Twitter by allowing users to share unique and valuable
content to their followers, while, in exchange, the services get
broader reach, user acquisition, and traffic.  

There's a common thread in most of the businesses you've listed as "thriving" above. Nearly all of them interface with *multiple* networks - Twitter, yes, but also Facebook, LinkedIn, and even MySpace. HootSuite, for example, connects to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace, Ping.fm, WordPress, Foursquare and mixi. There's also Google Buzz / Latitude, Tumblr, Posterous, Gowalla, Yelp, and I'm sure many others. In short, I'd say there seem to be few businesses "thriving" that have focused only on Twitter.

Last time I looked at the Alexa site rankings world-wide, Twitter was number nine. It's a long climb to the top IMHO - Twitter needs to pass Wikipedia and Baidu just to get to the point where Google, Yahoo!, Microsoft and Facebook are in sight. Twitter is still growing, for sure, but there are clearly some challenges for developers who only develop for Twitter.
http://twitter.com/znmeb http://borasky-research.net

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