Author: Heba Hosny31 Mar 2011
Today, I will present Twitter users take on the issue.
William Dobbs, a real-time social media marketing specialist, believed that:
“This policy will hurt Twitter briefly. Then, Twitter will probably announce a new round of security measures they will require developers to implement, including a non-compete agreement. Twitter’s business model is beginning to develop and evolve.
Twitter over the past year has suffered from several security break-ins and the occasional hijacked account…They have the right to protect their product, their timeline, the data, and the users of their microblog. The tweets, info, and other media roving across their timeline is really their property.
Also, like the TV broadcasting industry, Twitter has the right to place and price promoted tweets to Twitter users without competing from 3rd parties.
I see the pain in this situation continuing to be placed on the 3rd party developers. Twitter needs to make money…They will be reading the answers from this question most likely. I definitely believe this move will hurt Twitter. “
On the other hand, Ed Han, business communication strategist, focused on how Twitter’s decision would affect him as a user:
“Like you, I’m a Twitter user who’s accustomed to a 3rd party Twitter solution (TweetDeck). The only time I ever go to twitter.com is to review new followers and vet them by looking at their stream.
Until Twitter adopts an interface that displays your stream, your mentions and your DMs simultaneously, the way HootSuite and TweetDeck do, the popularity of these solutions will continue unabated.
This is of course bad for Twitter, who I’m sure they want to see ad revenues from placements on their site.
I wouldn’t be surprised if Twitter forces those sites/applications to start including ads in their channel–ads that will not be seen on their actual site.”
Martin Thomas, Partner at Gontard & Cie, specialist international healthcare advisors, noted that:
“It’s a legitimate commercial decision on Twitter’s part to protect access to their customer base which is valuable.
It’s not one I agree with because I believe they get better results from free access but frankly which way you go is more opinion than anything else. Especially to outsiders like all of us.”
Dave Maskin, Trade Show Booth Traffic Builder, pointed the similarity between Twitter’s latest move and LinkedIn policy:
“Twitter, like Linkedin, is now moving to limit the way we communicate with one another… This will ultimately slow, if not reverse their membership numbers…”
Corey St. Onge, a Web Entrepreneur, nTegrity Web Hosting, believes that we need to get information from the real source:
“It would be important to read from the discussion group this originated from to see the updates to Sarver’s initial remarks. 3rd party apps such as Hootsuite or Seesmic are in the category of apps that Twitter is fine with. They would like to see more apps like these that add value to their service. They are not fine with services that mirror the basic functionality of displaying a timeline as Twitter.com simply does for free. As a social media manager, this will have no ill-effect. As a user of Hootsuite that adds plenty of value add-ons, this new stance from Twitter will have no ill-effects. For developers however, there could be some negative feelings out there I bet.”
Antenore Gatta, Unix and J2EE System Integrator at MDB Consulting, noted that this decision is wrong for everyone, including Twitter:
“Really a bad move, much more considering that around there are alternatives ( http://identi.ca/ ) and actually these alternatives are good, free (as in beer) and with a quite solid user basis.
I would say this is a good move only if Twitter would have a business plan, but the only business plan I see here is to scare some investors and force them to pay the bill.
What is the asset for Twitter?
The news, the real time information… So what you should monetize? The data and not the means.
The means, for Twitter, are, in fact, their 3rd party clients, so at this point Twitter needs a structure capable to adapt their clients to the customer needs, or force their customer to adapt their business needs to the software… Hey! This is madness!?!?
If you have a successful microblogging system, you have really valuable data, and this data needs to flow freely, then the problem is how to monetize this data.
Someone already come out with some nice solutions, like http://paper.li/ that allow anybody to create/print their newspaper (with advertisement of course).
Unlucky I still didn’t see any nice idea coming from Twitter itself, and the only one are doing money are the 3rd parties”
Daniel Easterbrook, Digital marketer & web strategist, Radium Communications Ltd, pointed the positive aspects of the decision:
When I first heard the news I was annoyed as I loved using UberTwitter on my Blackberry. But after some ‘digging’ and ‘probing’ I found that they appear to want to keep their primary IP/API function within their control to eventually allow proper monetization of the channel. If you only have a few players and not ‘mimickers’ in the market as Corey states previously ‘adds value’ then for Twitter this is a plus. On the other hand they are forcing their users to experience the platform the way they like, and not the user. They are still experimenting with their new web based style from the old and still have not changed it over as they believe they will lose active accounts. Was CoTweet on the list too?
In regards to opening up the API again perhaps they should just tighten up the rules and offer a 3 strikes off the list, even looking at partnering with some for a fee. I really do get sick of their support autoresponder about ‘free service’ It’s interesting they did take this path though as if you look at other companies especially 37 Signals they have thrived due to 3rd party API’s.
That’s my two cents, bring back UberTwitter API access.”
Aaron Eden, Garious founder, believed that:
“As an end user I’m a little confused. I see that Twitter has said no new third party apps, but yet, they said some are OK. I’m really not sure if I should stop using TweetDeck since it might go away in the future. I’m not sure which applications will not be allowed any more.
My opinion is that this change doesn’t affect Garious today or in the future from what I can tell. It does show that twitter could continue to reduce the availability of the API in the future. If they did it could affect our future plans.”
Based on the above, it seems that even Twitter users who believe that Twitter had good reasons behind their decision, they still believe it could hurt Twitter in the long run.
Also, many red flags were raised that many Twitter users, who are accustomed to 3rd party apps, would lose interest in Twitter as a result of this move.
What do you think? Are you pro or against Twitter’s latest bombshell? Let’s pretend you became Twitter’s CEO overnight! How would you deal with this situation?