Twitter CEO answers 10 "tough questions" on @anywhere

Potential location-aware functionality and financially viability covered off

Twitter CEO Evan Williams took to his own social network this week to answer ten "tough questions" about the network's latest venture, the @anywhere platform.

The @anywhere platform, announced on the Twitter blog and by Williams at the South by Southwest 2010 Interactive Festival, aims to make integration into external Web sites easier by providing a javascript API for developers. It will make content from the social network more widely available without accessing the website or a third party Twitter client.

Twitter announced that the platform would launch with several key partners, including Amazon, Bing, Digg, eBay, The New York Times, Yahoo! and YouTube. Key functionality includes the ability to see a journalist or spokesperson's tweets through a pop-up window, and providing a button to follow that person.

CNET and NBC San Diego both reported that attendees of the SXSW 2010 keynote left almost immediately following the platform's announcement, with NBC San Diego's R. Stickney saying the auditorium "went from jam-packed to nearly empty."

Williams took to Twitter later to answer further questions. "I heard on the backchannel that people want me to answer tough questions," Williams tweeted following the keynote. "What'ya want to know? Will answer 10. Go."

Williams responded to a total of 28 questions over Twitter, though the majority were largely jokes. The ten serious questions ranged from inquiries about anticipated location-aware functionality in the social network, to whether Twitter would become financially viable.

Among the answers, Evan Williams revealed that location awareness would becoming a core feature of Twitter, and that the social network was not planning to merge with other entities or be sold in the next two years.

In regards to the @anywhere platform, Williams said that Twitter plans to reveal more details in the future, but refused to confirm that it was a direct competitor to Facebook's own Connect program. The CEO also said that the javascript required to implement @anywhere into a Website will not replace existing HTML external links, but act as a hover action complementing the original link. As such, journalists will still be able to link to personal/other websites and implement their Twitter account within the same byline.

When asked whether the @anywhere platform would put API developers out of work, Williams replied that it would "only if they can't think of what o [sic] do on top of it. It should allow them to create more value."

Williams said the social network will reveal more details about the platform at the upcoming Twitter developer conference, Chirp, starting 14 April this year.

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