Follow This: Twitter Is Alienating Developers and Users

Follow This: Twitter Is Alienating Developers and Users

Twitter is Wrong

photo credit: G. J. Charlet III via photo pin cc

I have one question for Twitter: What the heck are you doing?

In recent weeks Twitter has decided to start undercutting the efforts of the developer community who provide apps many of us use to access the service. Yes, Twitter has its own app, which began as an independent app, but is nowhere near as functional as several of the other clients that are available on the market. Some of these apps are so far superior to Twitter’s own app offering, that it’s not surprising many people use alternative clients.

It began with them cutting off access to LinkedIn – you couldn’t post updates to LinkedIn via Twitter and vice versa – which may not be a huge deal to a lot of people, but did serve as an annoyance for others. Then they started tweaking their API, making it more challenging for app developers to create apps that interact with the service. This doesn’t just affect the client apps, but other apps like Favstar, Klout, Storify, and others. I’m sure Buffer will be another app that gets hit.

It’s really hard to understand why Twitter is being so unfriendly to its developers and by extension its users. I don’t know about you, but I’m not a fan of the native Twitter client. I’m also not a big fan of using their website. However, using Tweetbot makes it so much more convenient and easy to use the service. If Twitter does away with client access, or limits it in such a way that it doesn’t make sense for the developers to continue to support their apps, it no doubt will affect the number of people who use the service. I find the network to be so much more accessible by using a client of my choosing. Consumers like choice, don’t they?

I don’t know about you, but there are other alternatives that are gaining steam and may prove to be a strong competitor to Twitter, especially given their “arms wide open” stance to developers. I’m sure Facebook is even ringing its hands, seeing an opportunity to capitalize on what Twitter is doing.

Twitter should do itself a favor and should sell itself to a company that will embrace the developer community. If Twitter continues down this path, it WILL alienate their developers and the users. They seem to be on a path to destruction, which really doesn’t make a lot of sense given their growth. I’m hoping that they realize the errors of their way and reverse course before they windup as insignificant as another once wildly popular social media site. Maybe you’ve heard of Myspace?

What do you think? Is Twitter heading in the wrong direction?

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