Tomorrow marks Twitter’s first ever developer conference and there are a number of things that we’d expect to come out of the event (we’ll cover in more depth over a couple of posts). One thing that could be announced is a competitor to Facebook’s fbFund, which funds developers building applications on top of the Facebook Platform. Details of that fund could be revealed in a panel between Kara Swisher
and investors Mike Hirshland, David Pakman, Bijan Sabet, and Peter Fenton.
Despite the countless number of applications that are “just filling holes” in the site’s functionality, developers have been the lifeblood of Twitter since the beginning and they need a way to continue fueling the system. One excellent way of accomplishing this task is through a program similar to fbFund. While I’m sure the company won’t want to duplicate fbFund, as they attempt to differentiate themselves, it’s no secret that company views Facebook as a direct competitor.
While we expect a lot of things to come out of tomorrow’s event, one of the most critical things will be Twitter’s ongoing commitment to the developer community. Clearly hosting an event just for developers is a big commitment to the ecosystem, but it has only been a week since some developers felt betrayed by Twitter as they acquired Tweetie, a third-party Twitter application.
While many developers still believe that they will be able to thrive in the new ecosystem, it will we require more than just a commitment from Twitter, which is why we believe the company will officially announced a Twitter fund tomorrow in cooperation with partner investors (Benchmark Capital, Spark Capital, Venrock, and Polaris Ventures).
You could call it speculation, but seriously, why else would they have a panel specifically about “Investing in the Ecosystem” with partner VCs from each of the firms I previously mentioned?
An insider tells me that this speculation is completely off the wall. Honestly I don’t think it’s that ridiculous but if an insider dismissing things suggests it won’t happen, then perhaps it won’t happen!