What Twitter Wants | Orian Marx

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In a recent ominous blog post, Twitter hinted at a further shift toward becoming a media portal and away from being an open platform for communication. Twitter has already earned its place in the history of the Internet and I have been very glad to be involved with it as a user and a developer during its exciting stages of rapid growth and innovation. What saddens me is that as a company Twitter seems hell-bent on relegating itself to being a precursor for something else, something better, abandoning its radical and innovative roots for staid ideas of commercialization in order to emulate a decade old model that will make it just another media entity if not completely defunct.

Twitter demonstrated the feasibility and value of delivering streams of information to the masses in real-time. It unlocked the extraordinary information dissemination potential of social networks that did not require reciprocal connections among users. It established the role of the mobile device in producing content for the web and disseminating news. It validated the idea that artificial constraints on the length of content (where we thought the web clearly had an advantage over paper) could lead to an explosion in the creation of content (how many people have written a blog post vs. posted a tweet?). Finally, it established the concept of web services as robust open platforms from which thousands of programs and startups could bloom.

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