Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Dear @Twitter management. Twitter IS a social network. Duh.

[Update: on 10/16/10 Josh Elman said we can use Twitter however we want to.]

Recently I pointed out an article in which a Twitter executive [@joshelman] said informally that Twitter is positioning itself more as an information provider than a place to "engage" and "waste time".

Today I came across an article in readwriteweb in which Twitter has formally gone on record as (a) denying that it is a social network, and (b) claiming that it is a content provider.

Twitter is NOT a Social Network, Says Twitter Exec
By Sarah Perez / September 14, 2010 11:32 AM

Kevin Thau [@kevinthau], Twitter's VP for business and corporate development, announced during a presentation at Nokia World 2010 today that everyone's favorite micro-blogging network is not actually a social network.

It's not, you say?

No, says Thau: Twitter is for news. Twitter is for content. Twitter is for information.
Complete article

Ever since its inception, when Twitter said it's a place for people to "update" their "timelines" with their "status", its management has demonstrated that it has no true understanding of what Twitter is.

Their war against traditional retweets has further demonstrated this lack of insight.

Anyone who has followed Twitter's own statements of what Twitter is, has missed the boat.

These recent announcements -- in effect saying that twitter is no more than a collection of RSS news feeds -- demonstrate more of the same.

Why did they make these announcements? I'm guessing that they're striking some lucrative deals with "content providers", and/or advertisers, and think this is a way to get more money out of them.

A better way would be: "know thyself".

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