Our Customer Spotlight series showcases the interesting ways our clients are using Xignite's Cloud API's to power their applications.
StockTwits is the leading social network targeted at the investment community reaching several hundred thousand users on StockTwits.com, and tens of millions through the StockTwits Distribution Network. Since its launch, StockTwits has garnered much praise, including being named by Fast Company as one of the 10 most innovative Web companies, and by Time Magazine, as one of the 50 best websites.
Xignite recently spoke with Francis Costello, Chief Operating Officer, and Chris Corriveau, Chief Technology Officer of StockTwits, to learn more about this fast-growing company.
Q: Describe the StockTwits community?
Francis Costello - StockTwits was founded in 2008 by Howard Lindzon, our CEO. At that time Howard saw the opportunity to create an investing community based around social media. The community allows investors to share their investing ideas in 140-character tweets, all in real-time. The value of StockTwits is very much based on the wisdom of the crowds concept, with 1000's of our users all contributing to create a unique financial communications platform. StockTwits is fundamentally based on this social construct, and is very different from the more established financial media outlets such as CNBC, which involve traditional one-way broadcast communication.
Q: Why has StockTwits been so successful?
Francis Costello - I think there are two main reasons for StockTwits' success to date. First, StockTwits created and popularized the "$(Ticker)" tag which allows users to follow a twitter stream based on a security ticker. This innovation is at the very center of all that we do. Second, we are very serious about maintaining the quality of the conversation that our community offers. We use both technology and people to curate and monitor the community. We ensure that all of our house rules are strictly enforced.
Both of these aspects mean that our content gets broad distribution across the Internet including CNN Money, Yahoo Finance, and Reuters. It also means that we have been successful in bridging the divide between non-professional and professional investors. Many professionals now use StockTwits' social stream, to augment their more traditional, news and price streams.
Q: How has Xignite's market data Cloud API's helped StockTwits?
Chris Corriveau - StockTwits has obviously experienced huge growth in the last few years. Because of this we try to keep our development as agile and as lean as possible. We look for technologies and partners that will allow us to maintain this rapid rate of development. The Xignite service is so vital to us because Xignite's real-time pricing provides our users with instant context for StockTwits' social stream. We found Xignite's Cloud API's to be very easy to work with and implement, offering multiple data formats. We've also discovered, that as StockTwits expands internationally, Xignite's broad global coverage means that adding international market data is a simple and straightforward proposition.
Q: What are StockTwits plans for the future?
Francis Costello - Apart from growing the community here in the US, and expanding overseas, our other priority is to introduce more services for our professional users. The main difference with the professional market is that while StockTwits has obvious appeal, the needs of professionals can be very different from our non-professional users. Frequently many of the markets these professionals operate in are highly regulated. In June of this year we launched StockTwits Investor Communications Solutions, which are services that allow public corporations and investor relations professionals, to really take advantage of the StockTwits platform to communicate directly with investors. The service includes features like compliance functions that address the unique legal challenges presented by regulated communications in social media. As we offer more and more services to professionals, we will continue to tailor our solutions to the needs of different groups in this market.