These days it may seem like just about every company on the web is
building its own development platform. Enticed by the success of
platforms like those offered by Apple, Facebook, Twitter and
Salesforce, more and more companies are deciding to give third party
developers the ability to make their products and services better.
Yet as we have seen time and time again, building and managing a
development platform can be very difficult. For that reason, companies
need to be prepared and strategic if they hope to build a successful
platform that can thrive long-term. Here are ten tips for doing just that.
By almost every reasonable measurement, Google's Android OS is giving Apple a reason to check the rear-view mirror. But for many developers, developing for Android is still somewhat unattractive because the common wisdom is that successful Android apps are likely to generate far less revenue than successful iPhone/iPad apps.
One of the possible reasons: paid Android apps are sold through Google Checkout, which Android critics argue offers a far less pleasant experience than the App Store purchasing experience offers iPhone and iPad owners.
What happens when Web 2.0 startups founded on principles of openness
and freedom grow up? If we're referring to Facebook and Twitter, the
answer is obvious: get a business model.
Unfortunately, finding a business model and implementing it
successfully can be hard to do, especially when you previously invited
third party developers to your 'open' platform and told them to keep
the change. So it's really no surprise that Facebook and Twitter, which
have collectively raised north of three-quarters of a billion dollars
in financing, are finding it necessary to pull the good old bait and
switch on developers.
Online payments behemoth PayPal thinks developers are key in its quest for world domination. Late last year, it launched a portfolio of new APIs that PayPal hopes will give developers the ability to create applications that extend PayPal's footprint into markets in which it believes its payment solutions could be better utilized.
But if the credit card associations have their way, PayPal will have to compete for the best developers.
Twitter spent most of 2009 reiterating the fact that it was not focused
on monetization. And its current monetization strategy is proof of that fact. Throughout its explosive growth last year, Twitter allowed swarms of developers to release products that built on Twitter's existing features. Now Twitter wants to be the one profiting from its popularity. And those developers are out in the cold.
The company today announced that it will shortly ban all third party ad platforms from Twitter. If developers weren't already fleeing from the service, they'll go running now.
Facebook may increasingly be on the receiving end of criticism related
to its stance on privacy, but the world's largest social network is
still one of the top places to reach consumers online.
With more than 400m registered users globally, Facebook is the world's largest
social network, and publishers looking to stay connected with their
users and acquire new users have plenty of Facebook tools at their
disposal to do just that. Here are seven of them.
HTML5 is coming, and a growing number of companies are trying to kick
the Flash habit, even if on a limited basis. The latest: popular online
document sharing service Scribd.
According to the startup's CTO, "We are scrapping three years of Flash
development and betting the company on HTML5 because we believe HTML5
is a dramatically better reading experience than Flash."
Facebook isn't just a social network. By almost every reasonable standard, it is officially the winner of the social networking wars. While other popular social networks, including MySpace, may not disappear into the void completely, Facebook has left them in the dust.
But the war to become the world's dominant online social network is just one battle in a larger war that seeks to shape the future of the web. And Facebook is gearing up for battle.
The iPhone OS 4 SDK was released last week, but it's not all good news
for iPhone (and iPad) developers. That's because Section 3.3.1 of the iPhone Developer
Program License Agreement comes with a new catch:
Applications may only use Documented APIs in the manner prescribed by
Apple and must not use or call any private APIs.
Twitter sparked quite the controversy last week when news leaked that the microblogging service would possibly eliminate the need for many the third party features that have sprung up to support the service.
The company has been historically open to developers building on its platform, letting third parties take care of everything from analytics to mobile apps and photo and video sharing. But that is all set to change soon.
And let this be a lesson. Promises made by a startup aren't always the kind that can be kept. Especially when they are only implied.