Twitter’s walls are going up! And soon.
I was perplexed earlier this month when my tweets wouldn’t post to my LinkedIn profile. Sure I had changed my settings to post only those tweets with the hashtag #in, but that should’nt have caused any issues.
Upon repeated attempts to unlink and relink my Twitter account to LinkedIn, I finally solicited help on LinkedIn’s support forum.
And lo and behold, in big words the help page finally stated:
“Twitter recently evolved its strategy and this will result in a change to the way Tweets appear in all third-party applications. As of June 29, 2012, Tweets will no longer be displayed on LinkedIn.”
Twitter had cut off LinkedIn! They were no longer partnering with LinkedIn to sync updates from one site to the other! The partnership that began in 2009 has briskly ended.
As if right on cue, I found Twitter’s official blog post that talked about the importance of delivering a consistent Twitter experience to their users and how they are “working hard building tools that make it easy for developers to build common Twitter features into their own sites in a simple and consistent way.”
Ok, so lets get this straight. Users will still be able to post updates on LinkedIn and broadcast those posts to Twitter, but content sharing won’t go the other way. But yet, Twitter is ok with tweets being cross-posted to Facebook? Well, in fairness, perhaps they plan to cut off Facebook too, and just haven’t done it yet. They are of course a much more powerful player in the realm of social media.
I dont believe it is a loss for LinkedIn. They still has their users and its ad-revenue is further protected. They also have other means of making money completely unrelated to ‘content’ which is primarily what Twitter was supplying.
Keeping their content stream all to themselves matches Twitters strategy of late. They are happy to have others post content into Twitter i.e. generate more content, but not to happy to have other platforms use their content elsewhere. This might be explained by the following:
Twitter like any other business wants to make money.
Their prized asset is content.
Content that is generated by its millions of users.
In order to properly monetize this content, Twitter needs to protect the content.
And what is the best way to protect your content? By allowing third parties to build into Twitter. This means that they want to become more of a Facebook style platform inside which developers can build applications.
Will they make exceptions? Suuuure. They will work along-side you, just as long as you allow Twitter to share in the ad revenue.
Frankly, the logic makes sense. If Twitter’s content i.e. tweets are flowing into Facebook, LinkedIn, Flipboard and the likes, and these sites are generating revenue based on usage/content etc — then why shouldn’t Twitter get a piece of the action? It is their content after all.
Does this mean Facebook agreed to revenue-sharing while LinkedIn did not? Could be. Or it could simply be the calm before the storm.
I think Twitter has seen and knows, that while their service is popular, many users merely use their platform as a portal to post content to and from elsewhere on the web.
Now with Twitter’s latest implementation, called Twitter Cards, users will be able to display headlines, bylines, photos and teaser blurbs for articles and other content around the web.
This is likely the first of many such features to come and why it has become so important for Twitter to protect their experience. Keeping people within the sphere of influence as long as possible, is key to Twitter’s revenue strategy!
The real question is – will users embrace the walls Twitter is building, or will they flee? Tell us in your comments.