There is a lot of talk around at the moment about Twitter’s new stance on 3rd party applications integrating with the service. Twitter has pretty much banned clone applications like Tweetbot, and went as far as buying Tweetdeck for $40 million.
Twitter says it doesn’t want third party developers to “build client apps that mimic or reproduce the mainstream Twitter consumer client experience.” But is that really all? That’s the short-term, but what’s the long game here? Where is Twitter heading?
Facebook is a place of sharing; videos, links, pictures, etc. Pinterest is a place of sharing pictures, in particular. Twitter is a place of sharing words: you have 140 characters to change the world.
This limit is both the most-complained-about feature and its biggest asset; and once you start combining sharing with 140 characters you start to see something emerge: Headlines.
Twitter is becoming the de facto home of soundbites and straight-to-the-point sentiment. Twitter’s users are bringing content to the service and having their say about that content in a raw, unadulterated manner. Unlike Pinterest, Twitter doesn’t require users to contextualise the shared content (or use massive amounts of processing power to analyse pictures for their content). Twitter’s content + opinion is instantly indexable, interpretable and searchable.
Twitter doesn’t require web crawlers to have a database chocked full of important-right-now information. Twitter doesn’t need to index every word on every page in the universe to understand what people think about some content – it is right there in 140 beautifully simple characters.
So you’re saying Twitter just made Google Defunct?
I’m saying that Twitter is in a ridiculously strong position to take Google on at its own Search game. Google have dropped the ball by focusing so hard on their social network – Google+ – and have become complacent about the two things that keep them in business: Search (which Twitter can steal the show with) and Ads (which, as I’ve discussed before, Facebook is in an enviable position to clean up with).
So what do Google have left in the innovation stakes? Well, there’s Google Glass, of course. But even I thought that up before they launched it. They have self-driving cars too, but the Volvo SARTRE project looks more fun, and more advanced.
Mind you, Google owns Android, the most prolific smartphone operating system in the world and I am a massive fanboi. It’s just a pity it doesn’t earn Google any money – in fact it costs them millions each year.
And the Chrome browser is the best (and most popular) around. But again: it’s free. There’s little in the way of a business model.
I wouldn’t say they are defunct, no.
But I won’t be investing in GOOG any time soon.