Citysearch, Twitter is opening a new Sign-Up API.According to our sources at
Citysearch wrote us to say that the API will "allow local businesses to integrate their existing Twitter presence or create a new account directly from the Citysearch business profile and tweet from their Citysearch profile page." How does this new API relate to Twitter's OAuth feature? What can a Sign-Up API do that OAuth doesn't? Also, how did Citysearch get wind of this development before a general announcement was made?
We were able to confirm that the API is, in fact, different from Twitter's OAuth feature. Citysearch rep Brandi Willard told us this evening that Twitter has not yet made a public announcement about the API. "We're the first company to implement it," she said.
Willard continued, "There are a lot of options for the type of content you can show with Twitter integration. It's pretty much the same functionality [as OAuth, but you can also sign up."
"We've been talking to them for a while about integrating Citysearch with Twitter, and they were looking to bring on more smalll businesses. It just made sense."
So Twitter is dipping into Citysearch's trove of small, local businesses - and potential Twitter users - for the maiden voyage of its latest API. This makes sense in light of Twitter's recent integration of geolocation information with some tweets, and it also makes sense from a monetization standpoint. Companies in the small, local business space could benefit a lot from sign-up and geolocation APIs, and many of these companies are already devoting significant chunks of marketing budgets to the online and interactive advertising.
Twitter is definitely a hot commodity for small businesses that can figure out how to use it, but we're still unclear on exactly how the new API will work. Here's what the sign-up looks like on Citysearch, and what the Twitter data will bring to a business' Citysearch page:
We will bring you more news and technical details about the Sign-Up API in the morning, when we'll interview more Citysearch execs and quiz them to our heart's content.
In the mean time, the folks at Citysearch are happy to have another avenue to integrate Twitter data. "We really value having all the right content on our site to allow consumers to make an educated decision,' said Willard. "We see social media as a big part of that, whether the content is generated on our site or elsewhere. The more businesses that sign up for Twitter, the more content we'll have on our site."