Twitter has announced Flight, a new developer conference focused on mobile. The conference will take place at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco on October 22, with a keynote from CEO Dick Costolo, followed by technical sessions aimed at helping mobile devs to build on Twitter’s platform.
It’s not the first developer conference Twitter has held. Long-time Twitter watchers will remember Chirp, the inaugural Official Twitter Developer Conference that took place back in 2010. However there was no follow up to Chirp, and it’s fair to say that Twitter has had a checkered relationship with developers as its business strategy has shifted, leading the company to encroach upon the territory that developers were initially encouraged to build upon.
For instance, Twitter has acquired various third party Twitter apps and clients, such as Tweetdeck and Tweetie, bringing popular third party services in-house where they can be controlled to mesh with its ad-driven business model.
It’s also continued to extend its own platform with more features, such as photo-sharing — thereby undermining standalone Twitter services that were offering those services as extensions.
The latest Twitter app to fold is veteran photo-sharing service Twitpic — which announced it would be throwing in the towel last week, owing to a trademark dispute with Twitter. That makes Twitter’s timing of the announcement of a new mobile dev love-in a little charged.
Also today Twitter said it has rolled out a newly revamped developer site, so it’s certainly making the right noises that it’s not closed to developers. Albeit the signals coming from Twitter remain rather mixed. As indeed do the signals to Twitter users.
Commenting on the launch of Flight in a blog, Twitter said:
We’ve reorganized all of the content so that it’s easier for you to navigate and get your questions answered. All of the old discussions have been migrated to our new discussion forum; you can reclaim your old posts by logging in with your Twitter account. We’ll be adding a lot more features to the site over the coming weeks.
This is an extraordinary time to be an app developer. Our mission is to provide you with the tools you need to build great apps — and great businesses. We hope to see you soon at Flight!
While Twitter’s head of developer relations, Jeff Sandquist, described Flight as “the next chapter” for the publicly traded company.