Eight years ago, not many people understood the potential for Twitter to become a global platform. Facebook, MySpace, and other Web 2.0 platforms were in charge on the web and were at the forefront of a social, community-driven redesign of the way everyone used the web. However, despite the competition, it didn’t take long for Twitter to explode in usage.
Today, Twitter is a publicly traded company. Like Facebook before it, after the company had gone public, experts were quick to point out that changes would be coming. It looks like we’re finally seeing what some of these changes actually entail.
As Ewan Spence reports over at Forbes, after a disappointing release of its public results in February which “showed a net loss of $511 million for Q4 2013,” Twitter decided that “Twitter is turning into Facebook.” What exactly does that mean?
If you’re a Twitter user, you’ve probably already seen what these changes have done to your profile. Twitter took a page out of Facebook’s design book, quite literally. The redesign is clearly a move to providing more effective (and therefore more profitable) advertising. The company is even mimicking the way Facebook uses promoted posts with its promoted tweets. One of the primary reasons for the change is that Twitter needs to boost the time users spend on the site.
Many core developers and Web 2.0 enthusiasts are angry about the changes. They claim the service is less unique and is turning its back on its roots. These are common fears for fans of companies or services after they go public, and if this pattern continues, they may have been well-justified fears for Twitter users.
There’s no doubt that Twitter will continue to go through some big changes in the future. Adjusting and adapting to the challenges of operating as a public company are difficult, especially with a background like Twitter’s. Facebook went through a rough time, but proved it was capable of changing without alienating its user-base. With that said, keep an eye out for future changes to Twitter!