The Final Days of Twitter

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I've never been a big fan of Twitter. I can see the value for those hyper-connected individuals who rely on social networks to secure or build awareness or notoriety, but based on my ten years of experience designing, developing and promoting websites on the Internet, I wholeheartedly believe that Twitter is in its final days.

It might be hip to be social, but TWitter is little more than a technology platform, a conduit to "get things done". The problem is that When you enable someone to do something (like be social) chances are good that you are going to be taken advantage of - and that is precisely what is happening right now at TWitter.

Steve Rubel at MicroPersuasion blogged recently about Adjix, a URL shortener that wraps the page you are linking to in your tweets and frames it in advertising. I've known for months that once hard-core super-affiliates figured out how to leverage Twitter, the game would be up. This is only the first of these services - many more will appear, diminishing the credibility of that platform as a legitimate service.

Twitter is not sitting around doing nothing however. They are taking proactive measures now to reduce spam by suspending accounts when spam is spotted, starting factoring in feedback to address spam issues more quickly and have personnel dedicated exclusively to the problem. But in my opinion these actions are ultimately band-aids to a larger, more sinister underlying problem. When you spend your resources scaling your services while continue and build awareness with the broader Web community, you miss out on developing new ways to do what you do (and more importantly need to do) better.

That's why these are the final days of Twitter.

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5 comments

Dante Monteverde 08-22-2008 9:37 AM

I whole heartedly agree "These are the final days of Twitter", AS WE KNOW IT.

It's only a matter of time before Twitter either gets acquired or starts monetizing the site by embedding ads every 10 Tweets or so...

Maggielmcg 08-22-2008 2:09 PM

Funny how some of us think monetizing Twitter will be the demise of it and some--Steve Rubel--think it's a great idea. I think by the time they do inetivably monetize it, everyone will be so addicted that they won't want to stop. Or not--I guess all we can do is wait and see.

John Fitzsimmons 08-25-2008 9:46 AM

I completely disagree. Stop the fear mongering. Twitter will never be a haven for spammers because you choose who you follow. So unless you just blindly accept everone that follows you there is no real risk of being spammed.

And, a URL shortener with an ad frame is not the end of Microblogging. It might lower the number of followers you have if you're foolish enough to use it. But it won't end the service overall.

@Dante - In terms of monetization, embedding ads in tweets WOULD be the end of the service because the user base wouldn't accept it. So that's not realistic. However, providing a useful service - like geo-locating nearby businesses who offer deals or discounts would be a win-win for everyone.

Dante Monteverde 08-25-2008 10:36 AM

John,

I agree that Twitter.com itself would not embed ads. However, what I have been seeing is 3rd party services like Twitterific, Twhirl, are embedding ads.

3rd Parties see the potential of twitter and are developing applications with monetization in mind.

Shannon 10-23-2008 6:41 PM

I love reading this post months later. Twitter is NOT dead and probably never be so! I am a huge fan of Twitter and know many others that are too.

Has anyone or Twitter themselves considered to charge for the service?

If anyone was at BlogWorld Expo in Vegas this past September 2008, Guy Kawasaki during a luncheon asked the crowd on how many people use twitter and how many would pay for it. When I looked around the room is was nearly 85% of the room (including myself - heck I'd pay $20 per month easily because I love the live feed, interaction and fast learning/sharing environment).

John has a good point about spammers too - there should not be a fear around that either. Twitter has done a great job in the last month or so on kicking off the spammers. They have good mechanisms and alerts in place to pick out spammy behavior and kick those users off. I constantly get invited and sometimes bump into users that get kicked off right away (you'll see "this page is not valid").

Oh btw - my twitter is www.twitter.com/shannonyelland -feel free to follow and I'll follow you back! :)

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