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Blindly speculating on Twitter’s future

Mike Isaac, The Future of Twitter’s Platform Is All in the Cards:

But amid the confusion of the past month, nearly all have overlooked the section of Sippey’s post which holds the key to Twitter’s future: Cards. Twitter’s new Cards technology allows third-party developers to create richer, more compelling — and, above all, visually consistent — content inside of Twitter itself.

Therein lies Twitter’s goal: A rich, consistent Twitter experience for every user. When the hammer drops and Twitter changes its guidelines, those apps that can’t deliver this consistency will no longer be able to integrate with Twitter.

A big question is whether Twitter will even give third-party apps the chance to display their “consistent experience” before cutting them off. I’m guessing they won’t.

Maybe the reason promoted tweets still don’t show up in the API, and therefore still aren’t displayed by third-party clients, is that Twitter never had any intention of monetizing the timeline outside of their official clients, because there won’t be any more third-party clients soon.

MG Siegler, Twitter’s Landscaping Problem:

I see the current Twitter Card offerings and I’m extremely underwhelmed. I don’t get the point of the news excerpts. Inline pictures are fine, but I don’t think I want to play micro-games inside of Twitter. I certainly don’t want to watch long-form video content there. And so I’m worried once again that all of these “extras” are going to overwhelm and distract from what Twitter has always really been about: information.

Over the last few years, Facebook has tried in a number of big ways to be more like Twitter because too much social activity was happening on Twitter and Facebook was threatened.

Now, Twitter may be about to turn their community upside down and make a lot of enemies to be more like Facebook because Facebook’s type of platform has more monetization potential and more platform lock-in effects.

The mutual envy is palpable. No wonder the two companies don’t like each other. They’re fighting for the same ground.

Facebook was already mostly there. For Facebook to add major Twitter-like features, it didn’t need to change very much, as far as users could tell. But for Twitter to add major Facebook-like features, they need to upend much of their service, causing a lot of destruction in their wake and breaking a lot of what people loved about Twitter.

Or, to use Twitter’s language, they’re about to break a lot of “the features that make Twitter Twitter.”

But I don’t think Twitter’s current leadership knows what makes Twitter Twitter anymore, if they ever did.

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