Twitter Should Remember to Focus on Users and Not Money
This summer has seen a number of social media heavy weights struggle with the dual expectations of making ever more money whilst continuing to provide exceptional customer experiences. The likes of Facebook, Groupon and Zynga have all struggled with this tradeoff.
A warning has been sent to microblogging site Twitter by a former board member in the hope of seeing them avoid a similar fate.
The warning, sent by Mike McCue, a serial technology entrepreneur and shareholder in Twitter, said the microblogging website must be careful not to end up compromising its appeal.
“Twitter can be incredibly valuable as an open communications mechanism but, if you close too many things down too quickly, if you think about it too short-sightedly, you could easily do a lot of damage to that ecosystem,” he said today.
“Twitter was created as an open platform, an open communications ecosystem, and I hope it can stay that way. You have to be really careful not to let money get in the way of that.”
The warning comes at a time when Twitter is fundamentally changing how 3rd party developers can interact with the site via its API. It has increased the level of advertising on the site and restricted the amount of data it's willing to share with developers.
Mr McCue resigned from the Twitter board last month amid concerns that it could end up at odds with his own venture, Flipboard, which is an app that allows users to create virtual magazines based upon the recommendations of their friends on social media.
Companies such as Flipboard have utilized the Twitter ecosystem to enhance and expand the standard Twitter offering. Whilst Mr McCue believes that the latest changes won't be too big a deal for Flipboard, he nevertheless has concerns over the road Twitter is going down.