Twitter: Don’t cry wolf. Why Game Changing?

"Game Changer" is a strong promise Twitter.

I caught a retweet from Andrew Gerrard last night when he broadcast Mike Butcher’s tweet about Twitter announcement being a “game changer”. So I waited up until midnight in the UK*

Prior to the announcement, there was much speculation regarding an acquisition of Twitter by Google which I discounted heavily due to the accepted belief that Twitter won’t sell out (yet). What could be game changing?

Then I discovered it was some over-hyped release about bringing a new feature to Twitter’s web version. Now are you sitting down? All it turned out to be was Twitter deciding to display embedded media in a new pane to appear next to your tweet-stream. Glory be! Its the sort of feature that user’s should have demanded years ago. How does this impact your life? Well if you use Twitter on the Web then it may enrich your experience, but I use various Apps built on the Twitter API and that means last night’s game-changing news changed nothing in my life.

Why I am writing this post is more to explain my disappointment. Its a real pity that Google didn’t get hold of Twitter. I just cannot respect Twitter’s tardy development cycle? This combined with their inclination to piss-on the development community whom have been forced to develop applications using the Twitter API. Twitter just appears to be copying these developers. First they brought out their own Twitter app for the iPhone (actually acquired what they thought was the best) and then an iPad app. Then they copied TweetMeme with their Retweet button and now they’re trying to mimic desktop apps. On that subject: does Twitter limit the API calls made by their own apps in the same way as outside developers’ apps? I’m not sure of that answer.

@Onlygeek, reckons last night’s announcement was about giving them the facility to bombard the web-based twitter user with advertising, a credible analysis in my opinion.He also points out that Twitter can’t reliably advertise in their API stream (filters could be designed to pick these adverts out) – and that’s probably why they’re desperately trying to grab the APP market.

I just feel Twitter should stick to their own knitting: its not as if they haven’t got loads to do to get the API serving out stable and more frequent calls. Stability and Scalability should be on their agenda. The point of having an API is to allow the nimble, agile and creative development community to listen to the Twitter users and serve up something good. Yet, Twitter seems to have dived into a realm almost ignoring their core development priorities.

I can just imagine the push and pull in the Twitter boardroom. Their strategy seems so confused. Announcements like the one that Neville Hobson highlighted gives you an insight into their thinking. I am sure Twitter is a social network to most users, Neville. Twitter can position itself all it wants.

So Twitter, you’ve cried wolf, I won’t be staying up to listen to your “Game-Changing plans” next time. It may have slightly altered the web-based twitter users but frankly hardly game-changing.

* only to find that Scobleizer’s live stream of the press meeting was flash based so I couldn’t watch it on my iPad and I didn’t stir the house by going downstairs.

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