Oh my, what a few tweets can do. Twitter API developer and all around nice guy Alex Payne (@Al3x) raised all hell in the blogosphere this weekend just talking out loud.
His crime? He said this: “If you had some of the nifty site features that we Twitter employees have, you might not want to use a desktop client. (You will soon.)” You know what this means of course, it’s time to collectively spazz about Twitter doing something (anything) again.
Of course, this time Twitter is actually defending their own darn house, attempting to get the masses of TweetDeck and Seesmic users back into the Twitter.com fold. Given their complete abdication of innovation to third parties in the last year and a half or so, it’s going to be a hard sell.
Mr. Payne then went on to clarify that everything that Twitter is building is using the same APIs that are open to all developers using the various Twitter APIs, ensuring fair competition for developers of all stripes (in-house and not). Think over that one for a second, Twitter has to compete for its own users.
Anyway, Alex manged to put some of the hype back in the bottle saying: “Uh, everything I like that’s on the employees-only beta site is actually *built* on public API methods we’ve already given developers.”
Now what does all this mean? It seems that Twitter is actually going to attempt to match the innovation creation that is already present in the market. They are in effect taking on Seesmic Web. Think about the Twitter UI and web interface execution that you can recall and ask yourself what you think of their track record.
Of course, Twitter was brilliant in letting everyone use their APIs; Twitter would be 10% of what it is today if they had not done that. But for Twitter to begin to smack talk (gently, and politely), other developers that have literally built Twitter into something usable is a little much.
Ask yourself, if you had only have the Twitter.com interface, how much less (if at all) would you have used Twitter over these last few years. I thought as much. Twitter’s history in this area is akin to their pre-2009 ability to make money.
As a short final thought, they are introducing nothing new. That is, all the data is the same as it is today, just with a different wrapper. No offense to the lovely (and handsome!) Twitter team, but I am putting my money where 10,000 of my tweets are, in Tweetdeck.
I do hope that they do make the web interface less backwards, it is after all what new users utilize. But for us power users, I really doubt that Twitter will be able to beat what we already love.
Prove me wrong Twitter, wow me with something that $150 million in funding can create.