Thanks to an open API and a philosophy of interconnectivity, Twitter (Twitter)’s vast array of third-party services has you covered on a number of alternative uses for the famed microblogging tool.
Let’s take a look at a few of them.
1. Share Files
A service called FileSocial provides a great way to send files smaller than 50 MB. Simply sign-in with your Twitter credentials to share your file with all your followers. FileSocial uses OAuth to log you in, which is more secure than asking for your Twitter username and password.
If you want to send a person-to-person file privately, check out FileTwt. You’ll have to sign up for an account on the site to enable private file-sharing up to 20 MB in size. The downside is they don’t use OAuth for authentication.
2. Exchange Business Cards
Routinely running out of those business cards made of dead trees? Work in an industry where almost everyone you meet is on Twitter? Check out twtBizCard, a simple service that lets you set up an electronic business card that can be easily tweeted to your new contacts by sending them an @reply with the hastag #twtBizCard.
When you sign up, the service will pull in the data from your Twitter profile as starter information, and you can add other details to customize your card.
3. Share Music
Music lovers have a lot of options in this category (see 10 Ways to Share Music on Twitter). Depending on exactly what you want to do, you might want to check out a few of these. For example, Blip.fm (Blip.fm) is very much like Twitter but specifically for music, and can integrate with your Twitter account to share what tracks you’re listening to or “blipping.»
To that list we’d also like to add Songza, a very easy to use music search engine that lets you easily tweet any track you’re listening to by clicking the song name and selecting the “Share: Twitter this” option.
4. Share Images
The media-specific Twitter tools abound, with a goodly number of options available for image sharing here too. Perhaps the “classic” service here is Twitpic (Twitpic), but even beyond image hosting services there are a number of alternative methods for sharing photos on Twitter by SMS, email and more.
To this list we’d also like to add that Flickr added Twitter posting earlier this summer as well, so if you already use Flickr (Flickr) to host your image collection, this is a great way to also share photos to Twitter in one fell swoop.
5. Share Videos
To round out the media-specific categories, there are also third party services lining up to help you share video on Twitter as well. From TwitVid.io to Tweetube (which handles other sharing duties as well), there’s probably a service out there to cover your needs.
We’d also like to add TwitVid.com (TwitVid.com) and 12seconds.TV (12seconds.tv) to that list. The latter perhaps obviously limits you to only 12 seconds’ worth of video, but it meshes well with the spirit of Twitter’s 140 character homage to brevity.
6. Raise Money
It’s still an emerging trend, but Twitpay is out in front of the microtransaction platform pack on Twitter. It’s a hot space that Facebook is looking to get in on as well.
There are still some limitations to using Twitpay as a Twitter payment platform, but for the adventurous there could be money to be made from selling your own wares via the service. Or, take a cue from Wi-Fi startup SkyBlox, who used Twitpay to raise a portion of their funding via Twitter.
7. Lobby for Health Care Reform
Want to bring a little participatory democracy to your Twittering? Check out Tweet Your Senator, a feature of the President’s website that mashes up Twitter with Google Maps to help you send a message to your Senator about healthcare reform legislation.
Looking for a one-stop shop to whip up a quick screencast and distribute it on Twitter? Check out Screenr, a screencast tool with seamless Twitter integration.
You have 5 minutes to record your videos including the ability to pause and restart, and you can preview the screencast before sending it out.
9. Play Games
Love it or hate it, interactive Twitter-based game Spymaster can be addictive if you play it, or insanely annoying if you don’t. If you’re interested in playing, or just finding out more about the mechanics of the game and what it’s all about, be sure to check out our comprehensive Complete guide to Spymaster. And please don’t assassinate us.
Spymaster isn’t the only game in town, either. Check out some of these other alternatives for getting your Twitter game on as well.
10. Social Bookmarking
Delicious (Delicious), diigo, et al feeling like too much overkill? Or just looking for an easy way to archive the links you share on Twitter?
Enter Fleck Lite, a simple bookmarklet-based tool that will both generate a shortened URL based on the page you’re sharing and archive the collection of links you’ve shared for later reference. If you share a lot of links on Twitter and want a convenient way to remember them for later, definitely give this one a try.
11. Be Someone Else
Ever wanted to know what Twitter looks like through another user’s eyes? Wonder no more: cTwittLike is an application that lets you see the Twitter stream someone else would see. Just enter the Twitter name of the person whose shoes you want to walk in, and you’ll get a list of the latest tweets from the users being followed by that person.
Unfortunately, due to lots of attention from the interwebs this app is currently down. But hopefully you’ll be able to return to your regular schedule of Twitter voyeurism soon.
12. Start a Petition
Looking to change the world but don’t know where to start? Petitions are a powerful tool organizers have been using for decades to raise awareness, demonstrate support for an issue, and bring people together around a common cause.
Check out several startups helping you start petitions on Twitter, from Act.ly (act.ly) to Twitition and more.
13. Find a Job
This is sure to be a popular one in today’s economy, or lack thereof. No single service will seal the deal for you, but check out our guide to landing your next paycheck via Twitter.
From finding new people to follow in your industry to making use of tools like TweetMyJobs, Twitter offers an unprecedented chance to find out about new opportunities and connect with potential employers in real-time.
What else can you use Twitter for besides our daily dosages of pointless babble?