In spite of Twitter’s mass appeal and the millions who rely upon the service, the network has been slow to see monetization occur.
Twitter made headlines recently for shutting off its connection to LinkedIn, which has been in place since 2009. Now, Twitter updates will no longer be displayed on the profiles of individuals who used the LinkedIn service. Instead, visitors will have to go directly to Twitter profiles if they wish to see such information. The change is actually part of a sweeping redevelopment of the Twitter API, which is the code that third-party developers use to connect with the platform. The new API has been created to allow the display of “expanded tweets,” which could mean advertisements of some form.
All of these moves are expected to simply be new ways that the company is attempting to generate revenue. Twitter is fortunate in that the platform is primarily developed for a mobile marketplace, meaning mobile ads that pop in through the lines of tweets could be a great way for the company to make revenue, whereas other social networks are still struggling to see how ads fit into their revenue sources. If LinkedIn is refusing to display such advertisements, Twitter could likely be responding in this manner, simply not allowing tweets from its users to be displayed on LinkedIn.
Ultimately, the loss affects LinkedIn in a much more profound manner than it does Twitter. In fact, it could be argued that Twitter won’t feel any repercussions from the change, whereas LinkedIn stands to lose some traffic potentially. Most LinkedIn profiles are viewed and utilized much less frequently than profiles on other social platforms, but Twitter updates allowed those profiles to stay current with the latest information from its user base. LinkedIn has now been forced into a position in which it needs to come up with a solution to quickly get its user base engaged with the service in way it has not done so previously.
Although there is no question that LinkedIn will feel the immediate repercussions, Twitter could potentially causing issues for itself by denying LinkedIn the ability to connect to the API. Part of the appeal of Twitter is its ability to be used across a myriad of different platforms, with companies across the globe relying on Twitter for assorted applications. Even mainstream news companies have gotten in on the act, with many of them displaying viewer feedback on their news tickers.
As Twitter walks the fine line between the necessary monetization of its service and connecting with other platforms, careful attention needs to be paid to avoid causing a problematic issue to surface. Should Twitter become too closed off and begin to disallow certain applications and sites from accessing its API, companies and Twitter users alike could potentially find themselves looking for a new microblogging platform to fill in the gap left behind by Twitter. Such a scenario would mean that the social network would lose valuable traffic that would only further complicate the organization’s attempt to make the social platform profitable.
What do you think? Did Twitter shoot itself in the foot or make a smart business decision? The comments are yours.
Sara Carter is enthusiastic about social networks, Google android, registrycleanerswatch.com and psychology. Her interests include IT services, computer upgrades, computer repair and computer apps. She loves traveling and skiing.