[InReplyTo] Robert Scoble’s Comment InReplyTo TechCrunch
TechCrunch recently posted an article titled “Twitter, There’s Nothing Wrong With Being A Social Network”. Here is the link. Robert Scoble left a comment and reposted on G+ here and I decided to add a comment to Robert’s G+ post. I cannot see a comment permalink to share so like I often do, I repost my noteworthy comments here on my vocal.ly blog.
“It sounds like Gourley actually wants a curated experience where new users only see elitist content. That’s cool that he’s explaining that. I think it leaves open a market opportunity for Google+ and Facebook.”
This is probably the key observation that you made in your comment.
It bleeds into the business of the SUL (Suggested User Lists). Twitter can monetize premium content streams more so than regular user content streams so highlighting such channels from news organizations, brands, celebs, politicians and A list bloggers etc. makes sense from a business standpoint.
All the rest of it, the social networky stuff from the 99%… thats the services back channel in a way. The noise, the pulse that matters less. The flow that has gems but those are the exception and gems can be pulled into the 1% as a featured/suggested source to follow. This also means that innovation on enhancing the experience and utility of Twitter’s back channel may be limited. It’s also possible that Twitter is unable to easily add new features to their platform due to the sheer volume of real-time data and the vulnerabilities to destabilizing the network. For example, some of the noise controls you want Twitter to have could be a real technical challenge on such a vast network. Simple modifications to queries can lead to disaster. It requires long periods of testing and QA on an equivalent test environment and then trickle roll-outs on production env. Unfortunately, mass adoption can stifle innovation.
I think it’s a mistake for Twitter to not continue down the path of becoming the type of “new media company” that FB and G+ are becoming. This is an identity complex for them. They don’t want to follow and copy, they want to pioneer and originate. The concern here is that if they lose focus on the 99% users, then they may devalue their product by losing the audience to other services that are serving users social sharing needs AND content consumption needs. I have gone out on a limb before to say that Twitter needs to continue to become more like FB and G+ and even offer a separate long-form blogging service that seamlessly integrates with the Tweet timelines among other features for media storage/galleries etc.