good Yesterday, the Federal Communications Commission hosted a Twitter chat with Julius Genachowski, the agency’s head. Great! Let’s get people talking!
bad For the first 23 minutes of the half-hour chat, Genachowski’s answers didn’t show up, because he wasn’t using the designated hashtag #AskJulius.
worse Where to start? 1) He was actually at Twitter’s headquarters at the time of his chat, but nobody helped him. 2) The FCC tried to convince the press not the cover the story of his inability to use TweetChat. 3) The head of the Federal Communications Commission doesn’t know how to communicate on Twitter. #fail source
Nick Bilton comes up with the right metaphor to describe the Twitter API debacle — it’s a restaurant that gives away its food — but the problem is that he kinda skips over the obvious solution given the metaphor he used. The problem is that Twitter was giving away all of its “food” for others to sell. Really, Twitter should’ve just started charging money to large customers for access to the API, rather than creating its own food trucks. Hootsuite, for example, charges its pro customers money. They can afford to give some of that money to Twitter. The model already works — Amazon does the exact same thing with its cloud service, selling bandwidth and server space by the level of usage — and it would’ve been relatively transparent for consumers. Want faster server refreshes? Pay for the pro service. Instead, Twitter decided to move inward, breaking a model that could’ve worked. And it’s a shame. We love the fried ravioli.
Farewell, Twitter? Perhaps someday there will be a better way to embed Tweets on Tumblr…
This can’t be good for Twitter.
To be clear, it’s probably not Tumblr’s fault.It’s most likely Twitter’s. What you’re seeing is a land war on consumer choice that’s taking place in bits and pieces. This is part of a slow deterioration of your rights as a social consumer, and it’s not some nerdy thing that doesn’t mean anything to you. This makes your life harder. It breaks connectivity and makes it harder to use a service that used to work — and it’s all because Twitter wants to encourage you to stay, because their model is built around making money from ads, not their API. At what point does Twitter cause a backlash from normal users instead of merely power users? And at what point does Facebook or Tumblr or LinkedIn or another network start doing the same thing in retaliation? Everyone, take a look at what Matt Buchanan has reported on Buzzfeed regarding this issue. He called it about a month ago, and Twitter keeps proving him right.
To our dismay, Twitter has restricted our users’ ability to “Find Twitter Friends” on Tumblr. Given our history of embracing their platform, this is especially upsetting. Our syndication feature is responsible for hundreds of millions of tweets, and we eagerly enabled Twitter Cards across 70 million blogs and 30 billion posts as one of Twitter’s first partners. While we’re delighted by the response to our integrations with Facebook and Gmail, we are truly disappointed by Twitter’s decision.
Start following this, guys. This may be their business, but it’s your right as a consumer to export your data.
A couple of hours ago, the company’s Michael Sippey writing a blog post about the company’s API which wants to discourage certain types of apps from growing. What types of apps, you ask? Basically, anything described in the upper-right quadrant of this graphic. What types of apps are those? Well …
In the upper right-hand quadrant are services that enable users to interact with Tweets, like the Tweet curation service Storify or the Tweet discovery site Favstar.fm.
That upper-right quadrant also includes, of course, “traditional” Twitter clients like Tweetbot and Echofon. Nearly eighteen months ago, we gave developers guidance that they should not build client apps that mimic or reproduce the mainstream Twitter consumer client experience.” And to reiterate what I wrote in my last post, that guidance continues to apply today.
As we pointed out recently, the Twitter alternative App.Net came to being out of reaction to some decisions Twitter was making about the company’s ecosystem. By actively discouraging development of these kinds of apps — stuff that front-facing consumers use — and enforcing limits on the size of developer apps (100,000 users or, if you’re already huge, 200 percent of your current userbase) Twitter may force the hand of certain developers to leave the service. Now, to be clear, Twitter can allow some of these apps to further expand, but based on this document, they may just say no. So to put it simply, if truly innovative things like Storify can’t grow in this model anymore, Twitter encourages them to leave. This is an incredibly poorly-considered decision and will cost them in the long term as a platform.
This practice on Twitter has been existed for quite some time: according to a recent study by Barracuda Labs, the earliest known fake Twitter account dates back to January 15th, 2007 (@krails). Since then, there has been quite the pileup, as the study found at least 11,283 Twitter users that have purchased more than 72k fake followers. That’s big business for “dealers,” who can make “as much as $800/day for 7 weeks of selling followings if they can control 20,000 fake accounts.”
With a little over two days to go, Dalton Caldwell’s App.net, which aims to create a developer-friendly alternative to Twitter without advertising or corporate interests, is within $70,000 of its $500,000 goal. If they don’t reach it by Monday evening, the project won’t move forward — but donations (which pay for a full year of service) are starting to flow in at a faster clip, so they may pull it off. The service, inspired by a blog post Caldwell (who founded imeem, among other things) wrote criticizing Twitter’s moves to close its developer ecosystem, is online in early alpha form, in case you’re curious.
UPDATE: On Sunday at 1:30 p.m. EST (with a little help from Stephen Fry, who joined and tweeted about the service), App.Net reached its funding goal — with time to spare.
Curiosity on Mars is awesome. @MarsCuriosity, the Twitter account, is cool too! Listen here as the people behind the account talk about NASA and social media.
Highly recommend you keep an eye on Politics Powered by Twitter, the great new Sirius XM show put together by the HyperVocal guys — it’s the first officially-sanctioned radio show about Twitter. And it’s great. Plus, this interview with the people behind the Curiosity Rover’s Twitter account is super-fascinating. A must-listen.
Hey dudes! Here’s the latest entry in our weekly post series, “The Pitch.” This post, written by SFB editor Ernie Smith, considers the wider ramifications of Twitter’s incident with Guy Adams — particularly its ties to the Olympics’ heavy branding and strict rules. Find Ernie on Twitter over here.
Last week, journalist Guy Adams learned about The Olympics’ corporate influence the hard way. The reporter and blogger for The Independent, who snarked heavily about NBC ahead of the Olympic opening ceremonies, spent much of last week reacting to the fallout around his Twitter account getting suspended. Why did this happen? And why are relatively open social networks suddenly feeling a lot less open in the wake of the Olympics? It all starts with the branding, and an organization that wants to ensure tight control over every aspect. But does that work in today’s era of share-everything social media? ShortFormBlog’s very own Ernie Smith analyzes the the conflict between brand control and social media overzealousness. Read more after the jump.
Right now, if you want to know how the country feels about Barack Obama or Mitt Romney, you have to rely on pundits’ intuitions or traditional opinion polls, conducted as they always have been — by phone, over the course of hours or days. There’s no direct way to check the pulse of millions of actual people, simultaneously and directly, second by second.
Twitter is launching a tool today that it says will fill that gap, and sort through the 400 million tweets a day from 140 million active users. Twitter and real-time search engine Topsy are launching the “Twitter Political Index,” a daily assessment of how Twitter feels about Obama and Romney, in an election cycle that’s being played out moment-to-moment on the social service.
Nigeria, with a population of nearly 160 million, is one of Africa’s giants when it comes to the use of social media. Nearly 4.6 million Nigerians are on Facebook. Twitter is the 6th most popular website in Nigeria. So it comes as no surprise that Nigerians were angered when the President of the Nigerian Senate David Mark suggested that social media in the country should be censored.