Thoughts on Twitter #11: fills in some feature holes


[Part of the RexBlog “Thoughts on Twitter” series.]

Recently, I wrote that content distributed through Twitter appears in lots of different ways, depending on whether you’re seeing it via the website or one of the many third-party Twitter clients (software from other companies that provide different ways to track and manage Twitter accounts) or, as I demo’d in that post, enhanced by some auxiliary tool like the Power Twitter plug-in, about which I wrote in that earlier post:

new twitter interface

Integrating content from a
linked website is supported in
the new Twitter interface.
(via: TechCrunch)

“One of the downsides of being a third-party developer of applications that run “on-top” of a product like Twitter (or, perhaps a more correct metaphor is “on bottom”) is the knowledge that Twitter will continuously add new features that “fill holes” in the service — so if your “product” is something that Twitter believes is merely a “missing feature,” your “product” is likely going to one day be redundant to something on Twitter, itself. For example, I am currently experimenting with a browser extension called Power Twitter that enables a layer of features that could one day be user options, or a part of the product.”

If you clicked through to that “fill holes” comment, you know that it references a metaphor first used by Twitter VC inv estor Fred Wilson, who was generously hinting to third-parter developers what Twitters plans are. And, as I predicted (or, as Fred projected) in that earlier post, Twitter is now rolling out a new interface that will incorporate — and enhance — many of those Power Twitter features. Techcrunch’s MG Sigler has several screen shots of the new interface, including the one on the right.

I should add that users of the new Twitter iPad app have already been getting a feel for what using a post 140-character Twitter is like. I love it, but it’s a very different Twitter experience from the clean and minimal original And, as anyone who follows Internet users know, different is something lots of people don’t like. (Ironic though it may be for someone to react against changing something that didn’t exist three years ago.) Indeed, there’s probably an opportunity for Twitter Power to survive by offering browser plug-in support for those who would like to remove the new features of Twitter and make it look like it did earlier.

I have several concerns with Twitter (I’ve blogged about them many times before), but the new interface is something I think I’ll be liking.

(Please note, the new look will roll out across the Twitter network over several days.)