After months of breathless anticipation, the waiting world can now catch a glimpse oneforty, a collection and curation of the Twitter third-party app universe from consultant and Twitter for Dummies author Laura Fitton (@Pistachio).
From TwitPic to HootSuite and everything in between, oneforty is a 1,300-apps-and-growing marketplace that includes descriptions, screenshots, links, reviews, live Twitter commentary, tags and more. Read on for details and, if you're one of the lucky 140 first readers, a beta invite.
In our last update on Fitton's new venture, we told readers that the app store idea had received funding just 15 days into its Boston TechStars stint. Although Fitton and her team had been working on the project before entering the startup accelerator program, the funding was nevertheless exciting news and signaled the significance of things to come.
Now, we've learned the full scope of oneforty's schema: "We provide a business platform for more than 20,000 developers to market their innovations. We make sense of the chaotic ecosystem with categories, tags, and 'essentials' to introduce new users to apps. We help developers grow their userbase and get their work found," they shared with us in an email yesterday.
The site's ratings, reviews, screenshots, and toolkits endeavor to help users sift through the myriad applications to reveal only the best-rated, most useful products. Oneforty also highlights the most popular apps and a few of "best apps" in nine categories: desktop, mobile, business, networking, entertainment, monitoring, media sharing, link tools, and a "random" category that comprises "arbitrary, silly, or just extremely miscellaneous" applications.
One of the things we like best is the site's Yelp-like structure for user-generated content. People tend to get passionate about the apps they love - or hate - and oneforty provides many mechanisms for indicating these sentiments, including a five-star rating system and a more detailed commenting system for text reviews. From each app's page, users can click a button to get that app or tweet about it. Screenshots appear in a lightbox.
Users can also indicate which apps they themselves use; browsing like-minded users' collections could be a great tool for finding new apps.
Users can suggest new apps to add to the ever-growing catalog. And in addition to providing user-generated data, the site also gathers media reviews of applications.
Of course, one of the first questions about any third-party Twitter app - let alone a third party app directory - is how the startup will make money. "We want to deliver a great experience for people trying to get value out of Twitter, but yes, we have plans for direct and indirect revenues," the oneforty team wrote to us.
"In particular, we believe developers deserve a fair marketplace to sustain their innovations. Too many great Twitter apps have gone defunct because while all the users were having fun, the developer couldn't even maintain server costs... In a nutshell, just like other app stores, oneforty is paid a percentage of the transaction price for the items sold by our marketplace."
With the glut of free apps in the Twitter third-party universe, one wonders exactly how much these transactions will add up to. Such ponderings lead us to hope oneforty has a few more revenue streams up its sleeve.
Nevertheless, as people who spend a lot of time testing, using, and writing about Twitter apps, we welcome this community-driven system for classifying and qualifying third-party tools. In fact, we think our friends at Twitter might do well to take a close look at how this offering complements their own.
You made it to the end! Here's your beta invite. If the link doesn't work, that means you're reader #141. Sorry!Discuss