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The Twitter Garden

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The walled garden is coming around the corner, and I think many of us saw it a long ways off.

One of the things that propelled Twitter into popularity was it’s robust API and the ability for 3rd party developers to use their code to build great interfaces.  I don’t know a single person who uses Twitter.com to check on their feeds or send tweets.  2 years ago at SXSW, every laptop I saw open (99% of which were Macs) had Tweetdeck open to live-tweet the sessions.  3rd party apps on the phone were also the most dominant way to get to that Twitterverse.

But Twitter is looking to clean that up.  There are dozens of apps for the desktop and phone and each one does it a bit differently.  Twitter is now competing with these other apps for your attention.  I know I recently had to stop using the official Twitter app for my iPhone because I hate their new “Quick Bar“.  There’s no way to turn it  off, it is annoying, and I couldn’t care less about Twitter trends.  3rd party apps don’t have to integrate it, so I’m trying out various alternatives.

And that’s what gets their goat.  I can just switch and ignore what they’re trying to throw in my face.  Maybe this will end up happening if they integrate more ads into the Tweet-stream too.  3rd party app developers will just not show the ads.

Twitter should be looking at the popular apps and trying to envelop their ideas.  I know they want to make money, but they shouldn’t go about trying to crush those API early adopters who have truly been a driving force in mainstreaming the service.

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