Imagine, if you will, Verizon purchasing Twitter now that they own Yahoo.
I don’t really want that, but at times I’ve wanted Twitter to have the ability to go beyond the 140 characters it allows. What if Verizon bought Twitter then did an interesting integration between Twitter and Tumblr so anything longer than 140 characters became a Tumblr post with a really nice embed for the tweet? Maybe Twitter could adapt Tumblr’s post types?
While they were at it they could use Tumblr for photo storage and allow at least a little bit of markup in the Twitter stream. I’d start with italic, bold, and native links. Oh, I’d also allow folks to use Markdown (yes, this is the Canonical Markdown) as an editing choice. Maybe just provide a rich editor that supports italic, bold, and links and a basic text editor for those of us that would prefer Markdown? The point is it would be nice to have some very basic formatting for a tweet.
Video has become so important to the web. Making it easy to record video, store it on Tumblr, and adding an embed to a tweet would be quite nice. It could be the next evolution in video from Twitter. First we had Vine, then Periscope. Tumblr could be the final version. It could complete with Facebook’s Live Video.
It feels like there is an interesting product in that mix somewhere.
Twitter has been in the tech news a lot lately. They have a temporary CEO, Wall Street isn’t happy with their performance â€” I’d argue Wall Street is its own problem â€” and they still don’t allow developers to create the applications they’d really like to create.
Of those problems I believe the one that needs solving first is the developer issue. It’s the easiest to fix and it would allow Twitter to focus on figuring out what the heart and soul of Twitter really is; is it a marketing site, a place to follow the rich and famous, or a real time communication technology?
Opening up the API would allow the developer community to solve problems Twitter isn’t willing to solve. We all know mobile is king, so they need good mobile applications, but developer are also willing to create unique desktop applications. E.G. Under Twitter the Mac client has languished as well as third-party client Twitterrific. In the case of Twitterrific it is because of Twitter’s draconian limits of 100,000 tokens per application. If Twitter would remove these restrictions they would allow thousands of digital flowers to bloom.
I’m not Kim Kardashian, so this request will definitely fall on deaf ears, but please, Jack, open up the Twitter API.
9TO5Mac: “By limiting the ability of third-party developers to create unique and useful clients for its service, Twitter is ensuring that new users will be forced to use one of its first-party solutions, whether thatâ€™s Twitter for Mac, TweetDeck, or the web. Unfortunately, none of these products are really worth using, and Twitter is shooting itself in the foot by attempting to drive users to these subpar experiences.”
There’s the problem in a nutshell. Twitter has been less than friendly to developers who can help them make a better experience for their users. Let’s say Twitter changed their rules to allow folks to develop clients that they don’t consider their bread and butter. What if you could create a client, free of limits, that wasn’t for web or mobile? This would open the door to a great update from The Iconfactory and allow other indie developers to create great native experiences for Windows or Linux. Seems like good business to me.
High Scalability: “Twitter no longer wants to be a web app. Twitter wants to be a set of APIs that power mobile clients worldwide, acting as one of the largest real-time event busses on the planet.”
How can you do that and limit developers to 100,000 tokens? It doesn’t make sense.
Craig Hockenberry: “Work was proceeding at a very fast pace during the first week of January 2007. Beta releases were frequent and widely distributed. Fortunately, the folks at Twitter were using our app with itâ€™s snazzy new bird icon. One of our beta testers was an API engineer named Blaine Cook who sent me the following email:”
The word “tweet” was suggested by a Twitter engineer, but not used by Twitter for a very long time. The word was first used in Twitterrific. What a groundbreaking Twitter client. So much so people still think Ollie is the official Twitter logo. Whoops.
Twitter Blog: “We offered music artists an early look at the service. You can see some of their reactions below. We hope you like it, too.”
The reactions from musicians seem so similar it makes me wonder how much they were paid to rave about the app. Then again, maybe their enthusiasm seems the same because there’s only so much you can say in 140-characters?
I do like the app UI, but I can’t find a reason to use it. I have iTunes and Pandora. Both have served me well. Maybe getting musicians on board is a way to pull the kids into using it. Popularity is a strange beast in a consumer driven society.
Mashable: “The Twitter co-founder’s parents Tim and Marcia Dorsey tweeted this week that they would like to be verified on the service. We’re not sure why they didn’t go to Jack directly.”
I think the verified program is kind of silly. Twitter should verify all real people and let the spam accounts stay unverified or do away with the program.
I’m the real Rob Fahrni. Why can’t I have a verified account? Jack’s parents are not special and neither are any other people with verified accounts.
I say verify all humans.
In the words of Tyler Durden
Listen up, maggots. You are not special. You are not a beautiful or unique snowflake. You’re the same decaying organic matter as everything else.
Android Spin: “While this may work, it is only a temporary solution to a bigger problem, Twitterâ€™s token limit. This has been a growing hassle for developers who create these Twitter clients as it stops the growth of the app and discourages any other developers from working with Twitter because just as @joenrv (Falcon Pro Creator) found out once that limit is reached, Twitter just deletes the app (see image below).”
I’m all for folks creating new Twitter clients, even when it’s not a good idea. Here’s the thing, you can’t gripe about hitting the 100,000 token limit. You knew going into it this was going to happen.
So, what should I name my new Twitter client?
Paul Haddad, the development half of the Tapbots super duo, tweeted a preview of a change coming to Tweetbot. This is not a surprise to anyone who followed Twitter’s summer weblog post that announced they were going to start enforcing their Display
Back in August when the updated Twitter Display Requirements were announced I took a look at three popular Twitter clients; Twitterrific, Tweetbot, and Twitter, to see what would have to change to make them compliant with the guidelines. Eliminating the right aligned avatar was one of the changes necessary for Tweetbot to be compliant.
Of all the display requirements I’m very curious to see how all client developers deal with Timelines – Branding(7b). It states
The Twitter logo must always be displayed directly adjacent to the timeline (e.g., top of the timeline).
Emphasis mine. The way I read that “You have to put our logo, in a very prominent place, in your app.”
Twitter for iOS includes the logo in the top bar of the app, which makes sense given the wording of the Branding requirement.
One of the requirements gave developers until March 2013 to comply. We’re just shy of that, guess we’ll see changes soon enough.
NY Times [Bits Blog]: “According to one Twitter employee, the companyâ€™s V.I.T.â€™s, or Very Important Tweeters, as they are known internally, usually celebrities and media personalities, would be especially happy to see filters in the Twitter mobile apps. Most V.I.T.â€™s now use Instagram to take photos, and then share them on Twitter, where they often have a larger following.”
Twitter has some issues to solve to make itself a great site for photo sharing, but I think they have the infrastructure to make it work.
First off they acquired Posterous and have allowed the service to languish, but that infrastructure could be the basis of a photo sharing service, much like Instagram. I’m fairly certain it’s difficult to track down old pictures on Twitter because they archive old tweets and we can no longer see them in our timeline. First and foremost they need to fix that. That’s just a technology issue. They have smart folks, they can figure something out.
As for their mobile client what about buying Hipstamatic? I’d imagine since the layoff in August they may be open to talks? Again, this isn’t a real problem. Smart people will come up with great solutions.
I think the biggest problem Twitter has is the idea that some people are more important than others. Hollywood, for some strange reason, has the eye of Twitter. Why? Movie stars aren’t important people. They’re just like us, nothing special. That is a real cultural problem.
Twitter was built on the backs of third party developers and all us everyday people. Since the VC’s have taken over the company the focus has been on the in crowd, which apparently, are Hollywood stars.
Where will Twitter be when the only people here are the stars and the advertisers?
If you’re looking for a social site supported by users please visit App.Net. It’s full of everyday people like you and me.