Twitter Mashup Growth: 2009 Was Big, Now What?

Adam DuVander
Apr. 14 2010, 12:44AM EDT

ProgrammableWeb has been tracking Twitter mashups since the first one was added in December, 2006. Looking at the number developers have added to the database, one thing is clear: 2009 was a huge year for Twitter and apps built upon it.

The above graph shows the number of mashups added by month, from the beginning of 2007 through last month. You can see a marked increase in 2008, followed by tremendous growth in 2009. More Twitter mashups were added in April 2009, than all of 2007.

Many of the mashups have been "filling holes," as Twitter investor Fred Wilson described. Many developers reacted negatively to the phrase, but it's one of the better stories of a development platform. For example, Nearby Tweets (original screenshot from our Nearby Tweets mashup profile pictured below) launched a year ago, several months before Twitter announced geolocation.

Nearby Tweets

Though three months of data is not quite enough to establish a pattern for 2010, there have certainly been fewer mashups added per month, perhaps because so many ideas have already been executed several times over. As Twitter gears up for Chirp, its first developer conference, there have to be questions about where to go from here. Wilson suggested several places ripe for "killer apps," including social gaming, enterprise and analytics.

Adam DuVander -- Adam heads developer relations at Orchestrate, a database-as-a-service company. He's spent many years analyzing APIs and developer tools. Previously he worked at SendGrid, edited ProgrammableWeb and wrote for Wired and Webmonkey. Adam is also the author of mapping API cookbook Map Scripting 101.

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[...] Twitter saw tremendous growth over the last two years, which ultimately saw it frequently one of the most popular APIs by mashup count each week. Flickr, by comparison, received much of its count in the early days of mashups, though it remains a rich database of photos. Over the last three months, we’ve seen six times as many Twitter mashups as Flickr mashups. [...]