Social media strategists have been grumbling for a while now about the microblogging giant Twitter, and the fact that what once had potential to be the Best Thing Ever because of people-driven applications from third-party developers has been crammed into a one-size-fits-all media strategy to control how users see content.
Last month, third-party developers were told of the squeeze-out with Twitter’s new developer rules. Now it’s happening again, and this time it’s to do with image sharing. Third-party image applications such as yfrog and TwitPic will no longer be welcome over at the Twitter camp.
Why? Twitter say it’s for consistency, but it’s really about advertising.
“They’re trying to control those eyeballs on their apps; they’re an ad-based company, they make money that way,” Twitpic Founder Noah Everett told Buzzfeed.
Twitter user Cindy Kelly tweeted about the change. “I prefer third-party apps for tweeting pix because pix I post directly to Twitter disappear after a while from my profile,” she said.
Over on the Twitter Help Center page for insterting images, Twitter says that we will still “be able to view images hosted on most third-party images providers indefinitely.”
Sure, for the regular user, consistency is good. A standardised view and minimal link rot are benefits.
But what about innovation? What if you have a great idea on how to use Twitter for your social media application?
“It might be a big death blow to smaller companies,” said Everett. The news, he told Buzzfeed, was “one of those things we thought was coming.”
Twitter’s official statement on their ‘Rules of the Road’ for Developers is that they “aim to strike a balance between encouraging interesting development and protecting both Twitter’s and users’ rights.
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