Lately I've found myself spending ever more time on app.net both exploring the vast and growing ecosystem of apps and monitoring the fascinating global stream. On the day that twitter launched its new API v1.1 which restricted a number of clients user token limits and has been seen as a major threat to developers its interesting to see how different the two worlds are.
Developer ecosystems are the lifeblood of popular and growing services. On Twitter they helped the service build a meaningful and usable presence on mobile, helped develop search features and new applications that had never been excepted before.
On Facebook they built games that keep users addicted and coming back to the site, they developed news websites that integrated into Facebook intimately and they built a web of sites that fed into Facebook connect.
Now Microsoft has realised that developers are the key to building a powerful ecosystem, at an event held yesterday they pledged their support to developers across the Microsoft family and unveiled plans for a unified app store.
The hope by Ballmer and Microsoft is that by offering developers access to a shared app store and code base across what is expected to be 400 million devices by next year they will be enticed to join the platform.
On all fronts it seems like its now the year of the app developer and that where they choose to focus their efforts, ingenuity and innovation is where the users will be attracted and where will survive.