OneForty: A directory of Twitter apps
Laura Fitton, founder of Twitter app directory OneForty, at 140: The Twitter Conference. Credit: Mark Milian / Los Angeles Times.
Twitter has one of the most vibrant communities of third-party developers of any platform. Thousands of applications are floating around the Web and various mobile app stores. Finding the best ones, however, was a shot in the dark.
Laura Fitton, author of "Twitter for Dummies," decided to tackle that problem, and her seed finally blossomed at 140: The Twitter Conference in Santa Monica today with the launch of OneForty, a Web directory of Twitter software.
OneForty organizes all of the Web-based mobile, desktop and miscellaneous-platform apps out there that tie into Twitter. Users can search for apps, browse by platform or wander in search of interesting tools, sorted by popularity or rating. Fitton (essentially an expert on all things Twitter) and her team highlight lesser-known gems in a "featured" section.
The addition of an app directory is a natural next step for the San Francisco-based social network. Smart phones have Apple's App Store, BlackBerry App World and Palm's App Catalog. Computers have the unofficial Version Tracker and MacUpdate. Game consoles have PS3 Network, Xbox Live Marketplace and the Wii Shop channel.
Many companies like to build app stores themselves to share in the revenue with its developer community.
Fitton isn't worried that Twitter will steal her thunder. She has been in talks with the company for months, and in a recent on-stage event, a Twitter worker ...
... pointed to OneForty as the answer to, "Is Twitter building an app store?" Fitton noted.
After building a hefty audience as @Pistachio on the social network, convincing popular tech personality Guy Kawasakito join Twitter, and writing a popular book on the subject, Fitton invested time and money into OneForty.
Months ago, Fitton left her two children with her ex-husband in Boston to spend three months with developers in San Francisco. She put her corporate consulting on hold to invest full time into the site's development.
The directory is already stocked with more than 1,200 apps at launch. But with an estimated 4,000 Twitter programs out there, there's still a road ahead.
OneForty allows users to submit apps that aren't listed on the site. During a private demo, we pointed out that Fitton was missing ThatsWh.at, one of the most hilarious sites out there. So we added it to OneForty. Fitton expects users will highlight many others in the coming weeks.
-- Mark Milian