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This article was published on November 18, 2010

Twitter’s Evan Williams: We want to be a platform company

Twitter’s Evan Williams: We want to be a platform company

Speaking on stage at the Web 2.0 summit, Twitter‘s @ev has released a veritable swarm of information that we’re finding interesting. While we’ve talked about Twitter eating its children in the past, Williams states that a good company is one that builds a product upon which other businesses could be built.

However, even as much as Williams loves the idea of Twitter being a platform, there have been some moves from Twitter that have been seen as killing that innovation from outside sources. When Twitter bought Tweetie, for instance, many said that the acquisition was hurtful to the market for many. Williams, however, sees the acquisition simply as a necessity for an Internet business.

So who, then, is safe? Williams couldn’t confirm that photo services are safe from the Twitter consumption. With Plixi, Yfrog and others making their way in the world primarily via Twitter’s success it raises a lot of questions about what sorts of businesses are safe from Twitter’s grasp.

However, Williams does offer some insight on that, as well. In talking about the user streams, Williams states that they’re about the distribution of information, rather than about money. While Twitter certainly can (and does) make money off of those streams, Williams was clear to state that Twitter was not in the market to be the analytics application, rather only the source.

This is interesting, as well, as we reported earlier today that Twitter has begun alpha testing its own analytics. It is worth mentioning, though, that Twitter’s own Sean Garret is downplaying the significance of Twitter’s branded analytics on the whole:

So analytics appear to be safe. Games, it seems, are another area that Twitter won’t be touching. “How would you play that, anyway?” was the question from Williams on the subject of games. However, if you’re in the reputation game, you might want to watch your back.

In a statement that Williams likely didn’t see as important as it was, he remarked that Twitter has a relevance scale for every tweet. That scale, as it’s used presently, helps to measure the reach of promoted tweets. However, that could change at any moment. Though Williams states that Twitter has no intention to take those numbers public, sites such as Klout could be wiped cleanly off of the map if Twitter were to flex its reputation muscle.

An interesting ecosystem, surrounding Twitter, to be certain.

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