For years I've marvelled at Twitter, the most commercially and technically clueless company to ever strike it big. Twitter is now hugely popular and millions of people love to use it. They use it in very creative ways. Twitter's success, in retrospect, now looks blindingly obvious. But Twitter has been uniquely inept at taking …
By the looks of that presentation...
...were Perfect Curve involved in strategy?
Or perhaps the Underpants Gnomes?
Re: By the looks of that presentation...
Gnomes are geniuses at corporations!
prepared to pay
The problem with trying to work out what people are prepared to pay to use a social network is that the value goes down if less people use it. So I put up with facebook because all my friends are on there, some of my friends might be prepared to pay to stay on facebook some wouldn't but if half my friends that weren't prepared to pay left then the half that were prepared to pay would no longer see the value in paying for the service.
If you are trying to start a service from scratch and you want to charge people you aren't going to attract anyone because nobody else is using the service.
It turns out (friends reunited) that charging people to use a social network doesn't work.
Of course if there is an actual product for sale then you it is possible. I pay for a flickr account, but for that I get unlimited space to store full resolution versions of my photographs together with the ability to download them as required.
'Where do we begin? Twitter's technical ineptitude needs little elaboration.'
Last time I looked the API was pretty decent.
If they have a billion users and change the logo on the home page, that is going to get well known.
I really want this to succeed because I'm really tired of the "we own all you freetards" mentality of the "social media services," but AppDotNet seem to have focused their pitch entirely on disgruntled twitter client developers. There just aren't enough of those to fund such an endeavour.
Even the tech-savvy social Internet users are wary of paying for something that's not even a vague promise of a product (just a tech spec of a protocol in-development for others to build products on). I seriously wonder if AppDotNet think this ever had a chance. Even the video made me want to tune out after a 15 seconds. It comes across as too extemporaneous and selling "not something", or "something else we'll have to figure out what it is first".
"whether Twitter itself has even an inkling of why it's popular"
Aw, give 'em a break.
I don't have an inkling why it's popular, either.
Pulse of the planet....hmmmm....gives me an monetization idea!
They don't need to advertise to the end users at all. But being the pulse of the planet provides some pretty valuable and saleable information. Rather than just telling people for free what the trending topics are, charge money for this. I'm sure a lot of people would deep pockets would pay fees to subscribe to this information.
Political organizations who want to see which way the wind is blowing without all that troublesome and inaccurate polling? Check. Marketing/advertising companies who want to what is "in" and "out" for the freshest possible ad campaigns? Check. Global brands who want to see if anything is happening that might be good/bad for them? (ala Chik-Fil-A) Check. How much is the information they give away today for free actually worth in the open market when it is kept proprietary?
I HATE that the Internet has to advertise the crap out of stuff to make money. I hate seeing ads that are totally irrelevant, but it feels creepy and privacy violating when they try to better target ads specifically to me. But if the fact I tweeted about the Olympics or golf or Audi A4 or Ron Paul was aggregated with the thousands and millions of others so they can know the Olympics is trending right now (I assume) and Ron Paul has seen a big drop off between the beginning of the year and now (I assume) really doesn't bother me at all. It'd be the cleanest monetization scheme I've seen yet for the Internet.
PS - if anyone from Twitter is reading this and decides to patent it, you better figure out a way to have a filing date on it earlier than the date on this post :)
Re: Pulse of the planet....hmmmm....gives me an monetization idea!
Are you seriously suggesting that Twitter, or anyone else with access to Twitter data, do bulk topic identification and sentiment analysis on it?
Because lots of people are. That idea is so old hat it's made it into the mainstream press. It's a standard classroom project these days.
be nice if they could let messages be longer then 150 words,(do not care to much for the very small 0.5% of users who seem to like text based twitter) or maybe just add basic feture auto start an second tweet like mobiles phones have been for last 10 years (unless your an CDMA mobile user then your still stuck in the past)
Sounds like you should be working in their strategy team to complement the other guys who don't get why the service is so popular. It's the same scenario where I work:
"The website is doing really well! Let's make loads of changes to make it even better"
Actually, my CDMA phones have had that for YEARS. They also don't have the horrible encryption that the GSM phones have!
be nice if they could let messages be longer then 150 words
May I introduce you to a little web concept (unfortunately) called the "blog"? Or to Facebook, which is quite like Twitter except with longer messages and non-textual stuff?
Web advertising / personal info repackaged as useful ad data input == repackaged subprime mortgages. Both stamped as AAA investment opportunities, inflating their own value.
The next big thing:
People like twitter.
People like fart apps.
farter: people send fart sounds to each other.
I have the sinking feeling that that would indeed be an astounding success.
And with AppDotNet you - yes you - can make it happen.
Twitter may not know, but users do
Twitter - for something so simple, you'd think they would know what it's for.
Well, it's for many things - and I'll freely admit, it's mostly for the totally banal "I just ate a whole roast chicken. Lolz" "I'm on the train heading for home" "Feeling ill today, sneezing like mad"
Yep, totally banal for anyone other than, say, a close circle of friends/family - but why broadcast it to the planet?
Who knows, it's just what humans do.
A more useful 'use' is short informational tweets with links. As a strategy for reaching thousands of followers, it's reasonably effective - and it's this part of twitter I find very useful.
As a developer, I can follow other developers, software companies and other tweeters related to my job and get up to date short bytes of content. "New version of XYZ is out" "New plugin to do XYZ"
Going further than that, I can share stuff I've found with other developers.
Because it's such a wide broadcast channel, it's ridiculously easy to share information.
Then we have the social side, which runs the gamut from organising a meetup right through to info from a warzone, a riot or a mass protest. The speed at which small bits of info can be created and broadcast to the planet is why the platform is so popular - mobile phone, twitter account, speak to the world from anywhere.
The harsh reality is that there's still no way to effectively 'monetize' the service without ruining it - and without money, how long can a service last?
One way to create revenue from twitter would be to charge developers to use the API - or possibly, a more advanced API with additional features above and beyond the free one?
If you want to put tweets on your website, you'd need a developer license key, to create an app using the Twitter API - same story.
I think Twitter really needs to get a handle on exactly what they've got. Geeks who dismiss twitter as being pointless really have understood the sheer leverage the platform has for so many broadcast uses - the value here is in the sheer volume of people using the service.
Re: Twitter may not know, but users do
Well argued. I've used it for a while, and the other good thing about twitter is "Block". Anyone who posts banal drivel receives it, which stops you following the tedious bastards as well. Since you only see messages from people you follow, the banality (or otherwise) of your timeline is directly related to your own preferences (i.e. who you've followed).
So do all these geeks who slag off twitter only follow people like Paris? Tut tut, gentlemen, you need to find better users to follow.
Look who's talking............
Years ago systems like Twitter or Facebook would have been proposed as RFCs and been internet standards.
Part of the problem is having such communication systems under the control of commercial companies. If I want email I have the choice of many, if I want to tweet there is only one choice.
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