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Oct 8 / Vivi

The platform / product duality of twitter

A lot of people were excited at some point about the idea of twitter becoming a platform, a sort of short messaging infrastructure of the digital world, in which we’re all connected and we use it’s simplicity to build magical products that slice, dice, and wrap it’s content in many different ways.

I wonder if the reason why this vision failed is because of twitter’s duality as both a platform and a product. For it to be used as a platform for this other differently wrapped content the main product would have to change fundamentally too, otherwise the noise of tweets that would be intended for other products would not fit into a plain twitter client.

And with twitter focusing more and more on the product, it’s days as a platform for other ‘stuff’ are definitely gone.

Which raises the question: does this leave room for somebody else to replace the twitter-as-a-platform dream? Do we need some common, open, public, simple, short messaging infrastructure for the web?


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  1. Vlad / Oct 8 2012

    IMO, we have that already.

    Some people like to call it … Facebook. And it comes with the cross-platform Messages App.

    I`ve learned to “love the bomb” and I (almost) completely moved from Y!Messenger to Facebook.

    Oh, and it`s as simple as you want it to be. :)

  2. Vivi / Oct 8 2012

    What you’re talking about are cross-platform-apps, I’m talking about apps as platforms.

    Think about things like sending money or donations through twitter messages, second screen apps based purely on twitter messages, shopping, ad-hoc social interactions… stuff like that.

  3. kellogs / Oct 19 2012

    terrible engineering!

  4. Radu / Oct 21 2012

    the old users of twitter will try something new with some addtional features

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