Twitter, foxes and chickens
From Mathew Ingram’s piece, Twitter’s multi-billion dollar mistake happened five years ago :
Last year, Twitter effectively admitted that it needed third-party developers and apps to achieve its growth potential: the company had a developer conference and talked about how it wanted to work with outside entities to build things that would work with the API, including some new ventures aimed at turning Twitter into a single-login identity service and other initiatives collectively known as Fabric.
For anyone who had worked with Twitter in the past, however, this was a little bit like Fox Inc. asking for chicken volunteers to help it build a new hen-house. As far as I can tell, there’s little or no evidence that Twitter’s outreach program is working.
Maybe it’s because there’s less incentive to write about the good stuff than there is for the bad, but I've yet to read about a developer having a smooth experience with Twitter’s API. Having used it recently to do something I would have thought to be trivial before digging in, I can’t say I've had a good experience with it either.
Another interesting part to note is a snippet from Ben Thompson’s Twitter Needs New Leadership article Mathew quoted earlier in the piece:
The trouble for Twitter is that awareness of the service has long outstripped its usability.
I think Ben nailed it here. For a good number of years now, I have only heard one of two answers when asking people if they have a Twitter account:
- Yeah! I'm @[username].
- I'm not sure. I think I might have signed up, I don't really understand what it does though.
Remarkably—considering the resources Twitter has at it’s disposal—more often than not (outside our little geek bubble) it’s the second answer.