Last year, Twitter launched a Certified Products Program, a sort of list of companies using Twitter data in approved ways. It split those companies into three categories including engagement, analytics and data resellers.

Today, Twitter has announced that it has appointed Zach Hofer-Shall as head of the program. He’ll be heading up the continued expansion of product certification and adding new categories to the three above.

A list of new partners was announced today as well:

Essentially, you’ve got companies that perform specific tasks that Twitter feels are great uses of its data. These uses don’t involve duplicating the experience of a client. These were the guidelines that Twitter laid out for companies when it initiated the program:

  • Make Twitter more valuable to businesses and solve a need that Twitter does not address
  • Help bring Twitter to new or underserved markets
  • Twitter is a core part of your product and you make use of all applicable APIs and features
  • Integrations behave as consistently as possible with Twitter’s own products
  • Encourage meaningful engagement with the Twitter network
  • You are working on an opportunity with significant impact
  • Use Twitter Platform products rather than creating similar products

The companies above fall into areas like ‘engagement’, where they act as a bridge between companies and Twitter data, helping them leverage it for things like customer service or public relations. Others are analytics firms that sort and contextualize data, giving companies a way to map it and provide real, human-readable information. Then there are the data resellers that slice off chunks of the Twitter firehose to serve them up to companies over a period of time or strata of topic, but there don’t appear to be any of those in this batch.

The Certified Products Program is more than just a marketing tool for these partners and for companies looking to use Twitter data more effectively, it’s a signaling device used by Twitter to point developers at the kinds of products that it wants them to be building.

Image Credit: Bruce McKay, Yellow Snow Photography