Trapster, the virtual radar detector, has released the latest version of its application for the iPhone, touting support for both Facebook Connect and Twitter. With upgraded support, you can check for local speed traps, or add your own. When you add a speed trap, your activity will be shared on Facebook and/or Twitter, depending on your settings.
The Facebook integration is particularly useful, as a map of your recently added speed trap is displayed directly in your Facebook news feed, further enticing others to click through to Trapster’s site, where they’ll see details about the speed trap you’ve added to the system. Of course, Facebook news feed items also support comments and the ability to “like” that item, so a decent amount of conversation can occur around this singular update.
While Twitter doesn’t allow for such fluid intercommunication, the microblogging platform does enable viral capabilities for spreading information about a given speed trap shared via a tweet. The ability to retweet or reply to a particular Twitter update sent through a user’s stream can spread news of a speed trap pretty far across the web, even if this tweet isn’t appearing within the context of an aggregated database (as the one you’ll find on Trapster’s website).
With the dual support for both Facebook Connect and Twitter, Trapster is demonstrating an important aspect of social networking and integrated media sharing for cross-network communication. Facebook and Twitter have become major streams of information, and rather effective ways of spreading information amongst friends and strangers alik. The benefit for services like Trapster is an easier way in which to connect its service with other social media users, as well as connecting the mobile and web aspects of its products.
As Twitter has increased authenticated sign in for third party developers, Twitter is also becoming more competitive with the likes of Facebook Connect. The potential for Twitter to add in even more value than the rather effective Facebook news feeds is Twitter’s recent anouncement to begin indexing web links shared via tweets. This means that links sent through apps such as Trapster’s could be more accessible through general web searches, meaning an app like Trapster’s could eventually be effectively optimized for search engine use as a result of its current upgrades.
Whether Facebook or Twitter will be better for third party support remains to be seen, but for the time being the two sites still serve their own respective purposes with a unique set of benefits. Trapster is smart to add such integrated support for both, and I’m sure we’ll see a lot more sites adding support for both Facebook and Twitter within the same updates to their own services.