Twitter forces Tumblr to axe friend-finding feature
Tumblr is the latest service to fall foul of Twitter’s strict new terms of service, which have been causing considerable controversy across the web in recent days. Tumblr has now removed Twitter as an option in its popular friend-finding feature, leaving Facebook and Gmail as the only two choices going forward. The same thing happened to photo sharing site Instagram just a few weeks ago and will likely happen again with similar services as Twitter continues to crackdown on the use of its API.
What’s most confusing however, is how these restrictions will benefit Twitter in the long run. If Twitter is no longer seen side-by-side with Facebook and Google+, will the platform feel as relevant going forwards? What happens if social service’s such as Tumblr, Instagram, Foursquare and Spotify react by removing the ability to Tweet from within their apps? That surely wouldn’t be good for Twitter.
Services like Instagram and Tumblr have played an important role in Twitter’s growth over recent years. Without these third-party services, Twitter would be nowhere near as large and successful as it is today. If Twitter stops scratching its partners backs, what’s to stop them from doing the same?
Twitter obviously needs to monetise its service wherever possible and they’ve been trying very hard to do so over the past year, but trying to build a walled garden around a service that has historically been a predominantly open one, could have severe consequences.
There are several other widely adopted social networks out there that could take Twitter’s place, especially Google+. Google doesn’t need to monetise Google+ directly, as it’s funded by advertising revenue from other services, so there’s no limit to how deeply it can penetrate the web. In fact, that’s exactly what Google is hoping will happen, as they merge all of their products into one giant internet resource.
Therefore, the more Twitter restricts its service, the more its competitors can open their services out, taking advantage of the fact that Twitter needs to control and monetise its service in order to survive. Twitter’s future hangs in the balance, as it wrestles with the task of controlling its own platform, without annoying both its partners and users, whilst still making enough money to sustain its own growth.
Whether Twitter can pull this off without changing their entire business model or getting acquired by another larger company remains to be seen, but whatever happens, it’s guaranteed to be interesting.Tagged in: API, facebook, gmail, google, Instagram, social networking, tumblr, twitter
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