Out of nowhere, and at the peak of its powers, Twitter suddenly seems really, really amateur.
You’ve probably heard that TechCrunch is privy to hundreds of confidential Twitter documents. No doubt you’ve seen the reaction to that news. And maybe reading the first leak, a proposal for a Twitter TV show called Final Tweet (which may well be the dumbest idea for a name since Shafted), made you want to curl up and die. You’re not alone.
But this is all just hype. The real problems are on Twitter itself. The network seems to be developing another major issue pretty much every week. We still haven’t had a resolution to the replies fiasco. An enormous number of users are still not showing up on Twitter search. For the past week, many innocent people have been randomly suspended. We’re allÂ following people we didn’t want to.
And Twitter isn’t doing anything about it – at least, nothing that’s working. Of course, a big part of this issue is their lousy PR – instead of focusing on being timely and prompt in letting users know that they’re aware of all of these issues, especially when they’re ongoing, they’d rather talk about tractors.
Create a successful business, and and growing pains are inevitable. But Twitter is now three years old. Calling it a ‘start-up’ is beginning to sound daft. The service has a level of coverage in the mainstream media that rivals anything else on the internet.
You don’t see this stuff happening on Facebook. And here’s the rub – even if you did, we wouldn’t be as aware of it because Facebook as a mass-communication medium sucks in comparison to Twitter. It’s difficult on Facebook to reach beyond your immediate network of friends; the ripple effect on Twitter makes this really easy. Theoretically, and thanks to the re-tweet mechanism, one update can reach every single person. Or about 23 million people, if you want to get picky.
Which of course for those of us who use the service is one of the best things about it. For Biz Stone, Jack Dorsey and Evan Williams, and their team, it’s also one of the worst.