4 Key Announcements At Twitter Flight, The Developer Conference

Listed are the 4 key announcements made at Twitter's developer conference which include Gnip Insights APIs, Embedded Grid, Native Video Ads, etc.


Twitter is mending relations from where it got screwed up. In a not so surprising move, Twitter’s new CEO Jack Dorsey kicked off its big developer event with a key message: an apology for Twitter’s past behavior and a commitment to try to make it better. He said: “Our relationship with developers got confusing, unpredictable. We want to come to you today and apologize for the confusion.”

Going further, the company says it will improve its communication with developers. “We want to make sure that we have a great relationship with our developers, an open and honest relationship with our developers,” he said.

While things won’t change overnight, not sure if developers would be willing to trust Twitter but the social network understands very well that if it has to bounce back it will need the support of the developer community.

Twitter Flight, Twitter’s annual developer conference saw the company announcing quite a few interesting features. We have listed some of the major updates right below:

1. Twitter Polls coming to everyone

Twitter has been playing with polls for some time now. The company introduced the polling feature last month, testing it with a small number of brands, most notably in the sports, media and entertainment industries. Now anyone will be able to use the simple engagement tool.

Twitter says on its blog that the network will allow the ability to create your own two-choice poll right from the compose box and it will remain live for 24 hours. You can vote on any poll, and how you voted is not shared publicly.

After polls expire, Twitter will send a push notification to all the people who participated, prompting them to check out the final results. Over the next few days, Twitter will be rolling out the ability to create polls on iOS, Android, and on desktop at twitter.com.

2. Native Video Ads

Twitter wants to tap the tremendous growth potential of mobile video advertising. Twitter has announced that it is adding video to the selection of native ad units offered on the company’s in-app ad network, MoPub.

Available for app publishers through Twitter’s MoPub Marketplace, the native ad units feature a video and call-to-action button, similar to those on Twitter itself. The video ad solution is currently in private beta.

3. Embedded Grid

Twitter is revamping its visual look when series of tweets are embedded on other websites. Meet Embedded Grid that is a part of Twitter Publish, a new, free tool to help people create better-looking embedded stories from the raw materials of Twitter. Here’s how it works. Any Twitter collection — or series of tweets — that you create using Twitter tools like TweetDeck or Curator can be plugged into publish.twitter.com, which in turn will generate code to embed on a website or a mobile app. Any updates to the collection will automatically flow into the embedded story. A Collection on Twitter

At any time, you can update your collection of Tweets (from any tool that supports the Collections API) and it will automatically update on your site or app. There’s no additional embed code, updates of your website, or need to re-submit your apps to the app stores needed.

Embedded Grids are responsive but currently only display on the Web; on mobile apps, tweets in collections appear one after another, but that will likely change in the future. “We want it to be a one stop shop where you can easily preview all of the different types of displays we offer in Twitter Kit and grab the embed code for any Twitter content you’d like to publish,” wrote senior product manager Mollie Vandor.

The new feature is already being used internally combined with others like its Curator product, to create stories for Moments, the immersive storytelling feature that was launched recently. Going by the looks Embedded Grids will play a defining role in the success of Moments for which Twitter has high hopes.

At present, Twitter has created a Collections API and is working with partners Spredfast, Dataminr, ScribbleLive, Wayin and Flowics to incorporate the API in their third-party tools. Pretty soon Twitter plans to give the feature access to public.

4. Gnip Insights APIs to help brands

Gnip is Twitter’s so called firehose, the full stream of tweets flowing through Twitter on a second-by-second basis since 2006. Recently, Twitter opened up access to all the historical data and at Twitter Flight the company has announced a new suite of APIs, called “Gnip Insights APIs.”

The Insights API currently has two components — the Engagement API and Audience API that would create meaningful insights from the Twitter data. The Engagement API will provide powerful and flexible access to impressions and granular engagement data for Tweets from owned accounts. Whereas, Audience API will aggregate information about custom-defined groups of people who use Twitter, making it easy to derive valuable insights about these audiences.

The new data will only be available with Networked Insights and NetBase, its “launch partner.” It should become available more widely after a “short while.”