Aside from the announcement of Promoted Tweets, Twitter’s advertising platform, the most important thing coming out of Twitter’s Chirp developer’s conference was a hazy pre-announcement of Annotated Tweets.
In a nutshell, developer’s will be able to let users to attach up to (probably) 512bytes of structured metadata to a tweet (plans are to increase this to 2KB), which can be used in one or many ‘annotations’ with additional data. This can only be added at the time of the tweet, or it if is retweeted.
To put this in context, a character can be represented in a byte, so you can add over 3 times as much data as the 140 characters of a tweet, in whatever format you want.
It is very early yet, with estimates of being launch in two months, and many things to be ironed out, not least how people can untangle the plethora of annotation formats that are likely to be launched.
It is completely open what can be done with this. In its note to developers Twitter says: Think big. Blow our minds.
Music. MIDI files that can be played by your computer.
Tags. Tags for the tweet and content linked to in the tweet.
Ratings. Subjective ratings of tweet content or links
Coupons. Discounts, can be combined with location data.
Topic/ interest profile. People who tweet on multiple topics can indicate the topic so their users can sort and select.
Rich emoticons. Emoji and other mood indicators (perhaps taken from biometric data?)
Real-life games and advertising. Provide instructions for real-life games, possibly as part of advertising campaigns.
Commenting systems. Links to long-form comments and conversations on the tweets, and aggregation of commentary.
Weather. Automatically adds current weather at your location.
References. Acronyms, people, place names, jargon etc. can have explanations, assertions can be supported.
Reputation rating. The reputation of the tweeter, tweet, story, or source.
Time. Time of day in tweeter’s timezone.
Inebriation. How much alcohol had been consumed at the time of tweet.
I’ll keep thinking. What are your ideas?