Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Many people have asked us about Twitter’s planned commercial account offering and what it means for CoTweet. Twitter has been planning for commercial accounts for a long time. Today Anamitra Banerji from Twitter’s Product Team posted to their blog that Twitter is testing one of its new features, ‘Contributors’. We figure now would be a good time to shed a little light on how CoTweet will be working with Twitter to extend the functionality of commercial accounts as they’re rolled out.
CoTweet’s Multi-Author Functionality is Strengthened
CoTweet was the first company to recognize that businesses would require the ability to have more than one person tweeting through a brand Twitter account. We discovered this need through our own use of Twitter and designed this as a feature of CoTweet at the very beginning. We gave a lot of thought to how brands should represent themselves on Twitter and outlined our philosophy in our inaugural blog post: Making Brands Human on Twitter. Not only did we provide a tool, we also suggested a convention–that companies reveal the people communicating behind the brand and sign off on tweets. Much to our delight, this convention has been widely embraced by companies like Ford, Microsoft, Salesforce, and even Twitter itself. We knew from the outset that the approach of incorporating cotags, the ‘people behind the brand’, into the Twitter background was a little kludgy and that one day there would be a more elegant solution. Fortunately, that time is approaching. CoTweet is working closely with the Twitter API team to incorporate the new contributor API, which will further enhance CoTweet’s current multi-author functionality.
CoTweet’s Value Add
While we aren’t at liberty to discuss the details of Twitter’s commercial offerings, it’s clear that there will be a continued need to provide collaboration tools necessary for businesses with cross-functional teams that communicate through one or more brand accounts. Businesses will continue to require functionality such as CoTweet’s advanced work flow and conversation history that allow them to engage in authentic, two-way dialogs with their customers and communities–responding to inbound inquiries and reaching out with news and information of value to their customers. They will require increasingly sophisticated means for managing dozens–and in some cases hundreds or even thousands–of Twitter accounts across the enterprise. There is a large area of opportunity between what Twitter will be offering and what businesses require. CoTweet will continue to develop enterprise-class functionality on top of Twitter’s commercial account APIs.
Twitter is Committed to the Success of its Ecosystem
It is worth pointing out that Twitter has repeatedly stressed its commitment to fostering a thriving ecosystem of applications built on top of its platform. CoTweet’s strong relationship with Twitter has been highlighted in recent weeks by Twitter leadership at conferences such as TechCrunch Realtime CrunchUp, Supernova and Le Web. Video clips from those events are included below.
- Dick Costolo at TechCrunch Realtime CrunchUp on 11/20 (full video)
- Dick Costolo at Supernova on 12/2 (full video)
- Ryan Sarver at Le Web on 12/9 (full video)
CoTweet has always enjoyed a close working relationship with Twitter–at all levels of their organization. The CoTweet team has provided feedback on new features, assisted in troubleshooting challenges with the API, and has shared insights related to CoTweet’s core target audience: businesses.
Twitter has been a great partner to CoTweet, supporting and encouraging us at every step of the way. We have every reason to expect our partnership to flourish as our companies roll out complementary fee-based services to businesses.