Twitter tests suggesting third-party apps in its Twitter Toolbox, including Block Party, Bodyguard, and Moderate, when select users block or mute in its web app (Sarah Perez/TechCrunch)

The company today is launching an experiment that may be one of the more significant efforts in recent years — beyond the launch of the rebuilt Twitter API, of course — aimed at demonstrating its intent to collaborate with developers and be more responsive to their needs. With the new test, Twitter says it will promote select developers’ apps directly on its platform at the moment they may be useful to the end user.

The experiment will start off small by highlighting apps from Twitter’s recently launched “Twitter Toolbox” collection of ready-made services, specifically in the area of developer-built safety tools, including Block Party, Bodyguard and Moderate. The beta test will only display to select users…

When Twitter users block or mute someone using Twitter’s built-in tools via the web app, they’ll see a new, non-intrusive prompt that suggests various third-party services that are capable of providing more advanced levels of safety and protection….

Twitter first introduced the Twitter Toolbox in February…

Currently, the Toolbox is an online hub featuring ready-to-use, self-serve apps and services built by Twitter’s developer community and aimed at the public. In addition to the trio of safety tools, the Toolbox today includes scheduling apps Chirr App and Buffer; the Thread Reader app; and measurement tools iloBlackmagic.soDirecon Inc., Followerwonk and Tweepsmap.

 

Twitter says the idea to feature the Toolbox apps on its platform came from its discussions with the developer community. Developers told the company they wanted to improve users’ experience on Twitter, and, more critically, they wanted distribution so people were aware of their product.

“This is the first step in us working with developers to actually enable those needs,” explains Amir Shevat, Twitter’s head of Product for its developer platform, who came to the company via its 2021 Reshuffle acquisition after filling similar roles at Twitch, Slack, Google and Microsoft.

“[Developers] want users and we want to provide them with the right users at the right time — giving value both to Twitter users, who are at the moment needing those developer innovations, and giving distribution to those developers,” he says.

By only showing the prompts when the user intent is the strongest — when the user is already blocking or muting an account, in this case — Twitter expects users will show an increased willingness to interact with the developers’ apps. For a developer like Block Party, which currently gains users via word-of-mouth recommendations, the ability to acquire users on Twitter itself could be highly impactful for its business.

“We’re very enthused about the opportunity to get in front of users who are really going to benefit from what we’re doing,” says Block Party founder and CEO Tracy Chou. “This way, we are much more directly getting in front of the people who want this kind of tooling.”

Bodyguard’s founder and CEO, Charles Cohen, is already expecting his business to grow substantially with the result of the new test.

“We currently estimate that 25% of users installing Bodyguard come from the Twitter Toolbox website, and we expect that figure to rise to 50% within the next few days,” he says. “We’re also excited about this new experiment that will bring Bodyguard to Twitter users who need an immediate, free, real-time, customizable and high-quality protection against toxic content directed at them on their social media.”

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