In 2007 I announced to the world that I was leaving MySpace, moving my online presence over to Facebook, a new, clean, ad-free social network. Goodbye, MySpace!
In 2010 I announced to the world that I was leaving Facebook, moving my online presence over to Twitter, a new, clean, ad-free social network. Goodbye, Facebook.
Today I’m announcing to the world that I am leaving Twitter, moving my online presence over to App.net, a new, clean ad-free social network. Goodbye, Twitter.
Wait, really? Well, mostly. I am done with Twitter, and I’ll explain why, but I’m also jumping the gun a bit, because I have no idea if App.net will be the next big thing. Still, I want to announce my intention to leave Twitter, and App.net looks like the perfect solution.
Why Am I Leaving Twitter?
For the same reason I left MySpace and Facebook, ads.
Wait, you say, “Twitter has barely any ads”. Yes, for now. But the writing is on the wall, and I’d rather be the first to pave my way on the next big thing rather than stick around for a slow, painful death on the platforms I love – been through that twice already.
Twitter started out as a technology company. It burned through cash offering a free service that helped people communicate. It attracted developers, like myself, to build on their platform. Now that they’ve reached a critical mass they need to monetize that audience, and to do that they’ve chosen advertising? Sound familiar?
It should sound familiar. It’s the exact path Facebook has followed, and look how well that’s working out for them. (Gives big thumbs down sign, sticks out tongue and blows a raspberry)
Most Twitter users don’t realize this, but Twitter turned into a media company a few years ago. Their original cast left for other starts-ups, and experienced media exec’s are now running the show.
Their new business model is simple:
1) Keep eyeballs viewing tweets on Twitter
2) Show ads in tweet stream
There is a problem though… Not everyone views tweets on Twitter; in fact, a whole lot of tweets are viewed through third party apps. The solution? Block third party apps and force users to view their tweets on Twitter’s properties so they can control the ad viewing experience.
We Need Advertisers!
That’s Twitter’s second problem. Companies, the ones with huge ad budgets, still don’t see the value of Twitter as an advertising space. So recently Twitter announced a “Verified Partner” program where only developers who make aps for companies can be verified.
“Yes, yes, you’ve done a splendid job developing for consumers, now everyone knows who we are. Now stop doing that, instead develop for businesses, because we need their ad dollars.”
Pleeeease, Twitter. You think we’re idiots? We’re just going to roll over and start building apps for businesses so that we can see fewer tweets from friends and more ads from companies?
I’ve Got A Better Idea:
How about I leave Twitter, and start developing for App.net? Will gladly pay a yearly fee, because I trust that as a paid customer I am their priority.
Your paid customers are advertisers, so they are your priority. Your second priority is your users, because they are your product. Developers? They are a threat to your IPO.
Very well, Twitter. I’ll move on. But beware. I’m going to take my followers and applications with me. Starting with this post.
In other news:
Bloggers are taking over New York