To Twitter: Stop Replying on Developers Building Features using Your API. Take Control of Your Own Destiny
Twitter is famous for its openness on its API and have a lot of tools built by 3rd party developers. But many 3rd-party tools are built/abused to add automated spammy tweets, robots to Twitter.
Last month, Twitter engineer Alex Payne tweeted “If you had some of the nifty site features that we Twitter employees have, you might not want to use a desktop client. (You will soon.)"
I'd love to see the niffy site features! Twitter's web UI is just way too simple. Example: Where can I follow conversations(aka: thread of retweets, replies) on a tweet?
Twitter should surely use its $160 million funding to beautify its web presentation and blow away all the 3rd-party clients(whoever builds its entire business model on features that are core to Twitter should have seen this day coming).
A couple of weeks ago, I was listening to a news radio station on the road. Shaq was asked why he loves to tweet. Shaq's response was: what he says to media often gets interpreted wrong or manipulated. Twitter gives him the most direct way to communicate with fans. No media can stand between him and fans to mis-interpret, mis-represent what he tweets.
On the same drive, I listened to a music station. The host asked people to follow the station on Twitter and tweet about the songs they'd like to be played.
The other night, I was watching sportscenter on ESPN. The two hosts were commenting on a sports story and were talked about the tweets fans sent them on the story.
On May 19th 2009, I attended the workshop Online Marketing & Social Media for Small Businesses hosted during San Francisco Small Business Week. Twitter and Yelp were among the presenters to try to convince small business owners about the values of their services. Twitter didn't do it convincingly. On contrast, Yelp did a better job.
The room for the event was almost full of people. Most of them are small business owners that took valuable time off to learn about online and social media marketing. So instead of the typical Sillicon valley Meetup where majority of people are technology-centric or so-called xyz media experts, these are the non-typical-valley-users trying to use whatever tools to improve their bottom line.
I haven't looked into details of all these plans/blogs. But I do have some thoughts about how I'd go about monetizing Twitter as if I am Twitter's product manager:
First, I'd just forget about conventional online advertising(CPC/CPM).
- people are on twitter to have conversations. If you are an advertiser that only cares about getting people off Twitter and go to your site, you don't really use Twitter's conversation workflow to market. You are working against Twitter users' behavior.