Say goodbye to Twitter.
It’s not disappearing but the Twitter that we’ve known and loved is riding off into the sunset. The new Twitter is more focused on making business, and less concerned about playing nice with others.
Twitter’s makeover was thrust into the spotlight on Friday when it unveiled the end of its tweet syndication with LinkedIn.
It means Twitter will no longer allow for the syndication of tweets inside LinkedIn that included features such as threaded conversations.
In a blog post, Twitter’s Michael Sippey said the decision reflects the “increasing importance of us providing the core Twitter consumption experience through a consistent set of products and tools” and how developers should not “build client apps that mimic or reproduce the mainstream Twitter consumer client experience.”
“Make Twitter Even Better”
While Twitter is spinning this decision as a way to “make Twitter even better”, it’s a move that will abruptly and irrevocably change how people use Twitter, the delightful buffet of third-party services available, and the creativity of developers.
The way to translate Sippey’s blog is the company is tired of people using feature-rich third-party services to use Twitter.
This is a big problem because the third-party players using Twitter’s API have created services that are better and more user-friendly than Twitter.com. At the same time, these players have been building businesses by offering premium services and ads.
Throw a Party But No One Comes
This must be frustrating to Twitter, which has been scrambling to improve Twitter.com over the past year. It is like throwing a party but few people come because you decided to share your invitation list and DJ’s selections with people hosting other parties.
The question many people are asking is why Twitter has become so strident about how third-party developers use its API. The availability of the “fire hose” or parts of it has been a major part of how Twitter has established such a huge global footprint.
The simple answer is Twitter has become desperate as its scrambles to build a viable business to justify its sky-high valuation. As a result, it now makes little sense to support rivals who are luring away users and advertisers.
In the short term, Twitter will be criticized and its developer community will not be as vibrant or creative.
In the long-term, Twitter is counting on getting more financial leverage from its 500 million users around the world. It’s a tough decision but a necessary evil for Twitter as its aggressively goes from a popular project to lucrative business.
For more, Dalton Caldwell has a good post talking about the battle within Twitter between people who believed the company’s core business should be data, and those who wanted to pursue a business built on advertising.
AllThingsD’s Mike Isaac wonders about what Twitter’s move means for companies such as Flipboard that mimic Twitter’s experience.