Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) may be undergoing a rather Facebookian transformation process, and it’s one that could end up destroying the prominence of the social media network. In an interview on CNBC today, Forbes contributor Ian Morris discussed the recent changes to Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR), which he describes as the “Facebookification” of the site, and the danger those changes herald.
“Well I think it’s essentially the same problem that Facebook had. It’s more about the fact that they keep doing things that the public don’t really want. Facebook has this problem whereby it won’t let you see your timeline in the order you want; it keeps forgetting it. And Twitter’s going the same way. Whereas before, hashtags were introduced because that’s what the public wanted, we’re seeing now that they’re doing things because they want to do them, from a corporate perspective, rather than because they’re what the public wants,“ Morris said.
Morris mentioned the recent decision by Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) to add favorites directly into users’ timelines as if they were retweets, a feature that no one wanted, and which people specifically do not like. Twitter’s decision to randomly show tweets from people followed by someone the user follows has also been poorly received. Both moves were made with an eye on increasing engagement on the site and making it more appealing to a broader base of users.
Morris also mentioned the fact that Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) has a very strict policy on usage of their API, which forces developers to work with them on any app that exceeds 100,000 users, rather than making their API open-source. Ostensibly, this is so companies can’t limit Twitter’s ability to show adverts.
All of these moves seem to be driven by a company that is now desperately trying to figure out how to add more users and generate increased revenue, and doing so at the expense of the users who built them into what they are today; which admittedly, is a company that hasn’t yet fully figured out how to really monetize their service.
Georgo Soros’ Soros Fund Management hedge fund is one of Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR)’s most prominent shareholders, with 150,000 shares in the company.