Clearly, Jack Dorsey and the team at Twitter are no longer afraid. Perhaps they never were. Big change comes with big risk. The irony of Silicon Valley is that although there always seems to be funding for a breakthrough platform, what’s launched to the public is usually an MVP: minimum viable product. So the question becomes — have we essentially been living with Twitter’s MVP for years?
Tell me more!
Two camps have broken out in the days following the reports, with a lot of noise between them.
In the first are those who will resist having to repost their blog and site content on Twitter. Think of publications like Forbes, FastCo and the New York Times, which don’t want to lose their site traffic. If they post 10,000 characters of a story within Twitter, there really isn’t a reason to click the links that bounce out of Twitter. If they don’t post long form on Twitter, their stories (data) won’t be included in some form of a new search feature for users, thus not including a potential impression. The more engagement stays within the Twitter community, the increased value and tracking of branded content and messaging. Sound familiar? Indeed, there’s a page from Facebook’s playbook.
The second camp will love the character increase. Instead of blogging somewhere else, they’ll only publish on Twitter. We could see startup publications just stay on Twitter, or channels of content like Yahoo. If you have enough followers today, why send them out of your feed? Ten thousand characters and an image/video is all it takes. Twitter becomes a WordPress/Medium mashup — a free-for-all digital newspaper for the masses, leaning on Twitter’s massive user base. For these users, they’ll dramatically decrease links to content outside Twitter, especially with new learned behavior. If we can see the short-form version of content in a feed that’s published elsewhere, why bounce to the external article? Ironically, followers may share less content within Twitter. Is there really a reason to share it if it’s already there? I can visualize the new types of content streams under a published article. Just like comment fields. That’s a page from LinkedIn’s playbook.
My 2 cents:
Jack Dorsey had committed himself to shaking off Twitter’s complacency as the Facebooks, LinkedIns and Snapchats of the world slowly bit off Twitter’s share of the pie by amplifying their reach. Though I don’t think we’ve been seeing Twitter’s MVP, I DO believe there can be, and should be, a lot more to Twitter than its current model. The Twitter hashtag and fast news model has gone as far as it could go, and left the best legacy it could have: a reference brand. Add that to Dorsey’s willingness to mess with the formula and we might just see Twitter bite back what was taken and then some.