Twitter is no stranger to seeing explosive news travel through its ecosystem faster than the speed of light, but this weekend it was micro-blogging platform’s turn to send shockwaves coursing through the Web. In an official blog post, Twitter has broken up the two-year-long partnership with LinkedIn, and also announced some developer changes that are not really good news.
What exactly is going on
Until now Twitter has been like a child—nonchalant and nimble—and perhaps that’s why there was no concrete revenue model in place yet. But with recent reports coming in that Twitter has scored great success in mobile advertising has likely got the attention of the top brass. The natural part of increasing ad-revenue is to control the content more tightly, which is what Twitter is doing.
Why discouraging third-party apps is a bad idea
I think Twitter may just have stepped over the safety line here. Here are the top 3 reasons I think this move will hurt Twitter:
- Twitter as a fun, open place: People love Twitter because they experienced freedom here like on no other social network. You could plug Twitter anywhere, or stream anything into Twitter, creating a two-way content flow that enhanced user-experience. With the latest development, Twitter has only managed to enrage followers who were promised an open community (at least tacitly).
- This could stunt growth: A vibrant development community is the backbone of every ecosystem. Today, iOS and Android have wiped out every other mobile platform because they have hundreds and thousands of developers who do great work and pull more people in. By limiting the developers’ choices, Twitter is restricting its own growth only.
- It does not help control spam: Contrary to what the company feels, stopping outgoing content from Twitter is not going to help combat spam within the network, which should be their prime concern.
In a nutshell
Twitter says it is making these changes to provide a more focused, “homogenized” experience for all users. Whatever that means! By limiting freedom and giving developers fewer options, Twitter has embarked on a dangerous course. You can argue that Twitter needs to monetize, but that’s not how you go about it!
Anyway, that was my opinion, and perhaps there are people who think differently. What about you? Tell me in the comments why you think this will or will not work for Twitter.