Twitter Made a Mistake
In a recent announcement and in an update to their terms of service, Twitter is now saying that they should be the sole developer of clients, justifying the decision with a claim that everyone should access Twitter with the same experience.
I’ve been a huge fan and compulsive user of third-party access points for years. Different people have vastly different needs, and trying to enforce a “one size fits all” policy just won’t work. Now that these clients have huge loyalties and userbases, choosing this time to bring down the iron fist makes little to no sense. If the strategy from the beginning was to only offer one way to access the platform, fine. That makes sense. Users would adopt Twitter with that mentality, grow with that mentality, no problem. But don’t tease us with the sweet, sweet water of clients and then threaten to take them away. Granted, existing clients will likely remain, but I’m worried Twitter won’t hit its potential without new developers contributing to the ecosystem.
Because some of Twitter’s best features (retweets, hashtags, etc.) have come from crowdsourced adoption and development. It was only after third-party implementations that Twitter built these features into their site. Why stifle innovation by bringing things down to one point of access? Clients should be praised as a way to bring even more eyes onto Twitter, not condemned for “confusing users”.
There’s also a strange bit of irony in the sense that Twitter’s official iOS and OS X app originated from and was acquired from an individual developer.
Give me TweetDeck or give me death! Okay, maybe that was a slight stretch.