#newtwitter isn’t just a redesign of the website, it is also a new era for the business side of Twitter. A new era of cash cowing is imminent and I’m worried it could force users like me to disappear, just as Facebook did.
The #newtwitter design goes someway to prove this. The new interface is a stab in the eye for Twitter clients and a call to bring back as much users to the web interface as possible. After all Twitter have no control over what the Clients display and would not profit from them. Although this is only 20 percent of all users, 25million people not using Twitter.com is still a massive number. The openness and whole API thing was groundbreaking and highly influential in sparking Twitter’s growth and though this isn’t a strong or obvious command to kill off Twitter clients and the API infrastructure, the #newtwitter design will put off new Tweeps off bothering with clients. It was also a pretty needless redesign and a kick at the policy that got Twitter famous in the first place.
Don’t forget Twitter likes to buy up those successful 3rd party services and discourage others that are making a little money in unattractive ways with constant changes to t&c’s. Where are you going Twitter?
I just read that Twitter is closing the Verified Accounts system for proving celebrity and corporate identities. I also read recently via TechCrunch that Twitter will soon be embarking on a Promoted Accounts directory. So they are stopping the verification of famous tweeps (at our convenience), the very celebrities that helped gain Twitter users, and are now beginning to profit instead by promotion of the highest bidder; no social media knowhow necessary. If these promoted accounts stay in the ‘find people to follow’ pages things would be OK but rumour has it suggested promoted accounts will appear where suggested users are now. I’ve not been a big fan of this system at all because IT DOESN’T WORK LIKE THAT Twitter! Just because I am a friend of somebody, we do not have the same interests.
Twitter have cancelled the @earlybird deals programme and sponsored hashtags though. It is not clear yet if these will be replaced by any in your face advertising though I have read suggestions that #newtwitter is better built for a clever display advertising system. Judging by the trials and tests of Twitter’s previous attempts to advertise by not showing large adverts I imagine they won’t head down this route, in fact I commend the subtlety of Twitter’s current display advertising of just a small, simple link.
How Should Twitter Make Money?
I don’t really know how Twitter could earn it’s crust and I definitely could not come up with a plan to make enough money. I do know that they currently are profitable though. It’s a shame that if you’re not Facebook, Google, or valued in tens of billions of dollars, then things aren’t good. But as I tweeted yesterday – that’s just business. All these moves point to a transition to a new era where Twitter has to start earning megabucks to pay back and please investors.
I also don’t begrudge them any well deserved money, I just love using Twitter and don’t want to see it spiral downhill in the same shameless way Facebook did. I don’t want to see sneaky promotions popping up in places such as suggested promotional accounts and such. I just hope they keep it usable for people like me, the simple Tweeter.
BTW I have hand drawn the thumbnail for this post in response to Twitters new call to Trade Mark the flying bird sillhoutte. Maybe they could license displays of this?