StockTwits peels off Twitter: Will others follow?

When one of the best recognized Twitter-centric applications decides to relaunch itself as a desktop client that no longer relies on Twitter, what does this mean? That's exactly what StockTwits did this week with the unveiling of its desktop software, a product that TechCrunch reviewed as a sort of Bloomberg terminal and chat system for the trading masses.

StockTwits formerly rode on top of Twitter and allowed users to follow tweet streams by ticker, hastag or user. It created a filter system that made it easier to manage and limit down tweets to cater to the specific interest of a trader and to build communities around specific trading topics. The new backend will function outside of Twitter, leading to an obvious question: if StockTwits no longer needs Twitter, then who does? Perhaps more importantly, is Twitter the next AIM? Like the popular messaging app, it has a lot of staying power and easy to copy; similarly, it is nearly impossible to make money on because its so fungible and easy to copy.