News Analysis: Twitter's Chirp conference was only the first but it was a seminal event for a company that has traditionally shied away from sharing statistics.
Those following the April 14 event learned that Twitter now has almost 106 million users, whose 55 million tweets per day harking back to March 2006 will now be archived by the Library of Congress for posterity after six months.
Established in 1800, the Library of Congress is the largest library in the world and receives copies of every book, pamphlet, map, print and music piece registered in the United States. Twitter co-founder Biz Stone said this is a sign the billions of tweets that funnel through Twitter "are important and worthy of preservation."
The Library of Congress is simply doing its job of logging digital content, adding to the more than 167 terabytes of legal blogs and governmental Websites. That is more data than the text of the 21 million books in the library's entire collection. Twitter, far often a not-so-serious service, is being taken seriously as a research tool.
Twitter also formally launched its @anywhere service, the microblog's take on Facebook Connect. Previewed at SXSW in March, @anywhere offers APIs and tools to let partner Websites integrate Twitter functionality into their Website, ideally to spark greater user engagement and lure new users.
Partners such as Amazon will let customers follow suggested Twitter accounts while shopping. Citysearch uses @anywhere to let users get info about retailers and engage with them. Media sites such as the Wall Street Journal, the Huffington Post and The Guardian are using Twitter as a media tool to better reach readers. Google created Follow Finder, a Twitter user locator, using @anywhere.
Twitter executives such as COO Dick Costolo and co-founder Evan Williams discussed revenue models for its Promoted Tweets ad platform. This was key for the bulk of people who flocked to Chirp to learn how the company intended to make money and where they fit into that picture.
With Promoted Tweets, the ad-within-tweet campaign, Twitter is starting on a CPM basis but will eventually evolve other pricing models. Starbucks, Best Buy and others can place promotional tweets that will surface on Twitter search results pages, and for those who natively follow those brands.
With 300,000 users joining every day to tack on to the almost 105.8 million user number, Twitter is becoming an amazingly fertile ground for digital advertising. Now that Promoted Tweets is in place, Twitter can make coin beyond its indexing partnerships with Google, Microsoft and Yahoo.
There was also a lot of geeky API developer talk about releasing APIs for Places, Annotations and Users Streams, which is probably good because this was, after all, a developer conference.