The Amazon Doctrine
I was watching the Amazon Kindle event as I was eating my breakfast, and aside from it being a great event, one thing in particular jumped out at me as pretty sound business advice, especially in today's world, where starting businesses without knowing how to make money from them seems to be the order of the day (and the perfect way to spot whether you should trust a service):
When did Amazon last make a move that screwed you over as a customer in the name of profit?
No, I can't think of anything either, because their profit is making you a happy consumer! How novel.
And while I do think Jeff Bezos is overplaying the competitiveness of the Kindle Fire versus the iPad (by a lot), at least I trust the company because I understand our relationship.
Some part of me can't help but admire the purity of the clusterfuck that is Twitter's continued downward trajectory from startup wunderkind to some sort of bland, wannabe ad-driven media company.
It's incomplete, but I can't help but draw comparisons between Twitter's alienation of their original users and ecosystem to, because I am me, Star Wars.
Despite what George Lucas says, the continuing alterations to Star Wars have been driven by business reasoning, not some artistic auteur need to see the vision completed. And in both cases, the original fan base is the one getting run over, while the unwashed masses get to enjoy Jar Jar and Justin Bieber, respectively.
Never mind the irony and complete lack of insight it takes to essentially lock out third-party developers — the very people who practically invented modern-day Twitter (thinking anything else is delusional).
Now Twitter considers its website the canonical Twitter. John Gruber recently asked an Apple representative about why clicking a Twitter notification sent you to the website rather than to the client app, and learned that Twitter had specifically requested that be the (unalterable) behavior. And now it's effectively getting rid of its desktop client.
I understand that Twitter wants to control the stream with regards to showing ads, and I can even understand why they clamp down on their API to safeguard their social graph from hostile takeovers. I get it.
But aside from the development cost of keeping a desktop client alive, something which they haven't given two shits about for years anyway, why not keep the client? They control its stream as much as anywhere else. It's completely in their control. Arguably more so than the website which given a touch of CSS is out of their control.
It may take years, but if it really is Twitter's intent to kill the desktop client, it will definitively mark the end of my use of the service. The API changes hurt me on principle, but killing the desktop clients actually hurts my practical use of Twitter as a service. Most days I'll have the client open on my secondary monitor and occasionally glance at the stream to see what's going on out in the world as I work. Contrast with Facebook, which I open maybe twice a day unless I specifically receive a notification.
Which do you think I interact with more often?
And despite their best engineering efforts, having to wait for the browser to load up Twitter.com will forever be considerably slower than the instant action of switching to the client. Never mind that I don't give a flying intercourse about 'Who to Follow' and 'Trending Topics' nonsense that is continually shoved down my throat. #foiegrasjokehere
I get the attempt to control the stream in an effort to monetize it. I get the need to control the third-party space from the risk of a 'trojan horse'-like hostile takeover.
I don't get how the desktop client can't be a part of that. I don't get how this will help the Justin Bieberification of Twitter. But most paradoxically, I don't understand why Twitter has started sending out "What's going on with your Twitter" emails when the whole fucking service is supposed to be about that!
In closing, Twitter, you have gone insane, and you should seek professional help.
PS: How are mentions and DMs read/unread status still not synced? How are billions of tweets every day without the capacity to to flip a fucking a bit? Man up.