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Twitter™ for Dummies® by Michael Gruen, Leslie Poston, Laura Fitton

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Chapter 9. Embracing the Twitter Ecosystem

In This Chapter

  • Using tools to enrich your Twitter experience

  • Finding programs that make using Twitter easy

  • Playing around on Twitter with games and memes

Twitter is a useful tool on its own, but by design, it remains extremely simple, even stark, in its functionality. The folks who created it wanted to make Twitter a platform for users to build on, improve, and enhance, so they opened up Twitter's API (application program interface), or code, to the public. Enterprising and creative software developers, as a result, can create applications that work with Twitter to offer even more compelling features and ways to make use of the dynamic system.

Twitter itself is constantly evolving and changing — from design facelifts to new features to changes in how the back-end technology works. The Twitter team pays close attention to how people interact with the system and what those users want to do with it. Because the long-term success of Twitter depends completely on a healthy base of users generating a regular stream of content, the management obviously wants to do their best to keep Twitter on its toes.

As a result, Twitter is a living application and community, extending far beyond what Twitter itself controls. Conventions and third-party tools have popped up to fill in functionality that Twitter may have missed, chosen not to implement, or intentionally left for other developers to handle.

You can find a rich toolset online to enhance and personalize ...

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