Twitter's Update on Enduring Value

Yesterday, Twitter gave an update on where they see the service heading and how they're going to build a long-term product. While there were several components to their message, one stuck out in my mind a little bit more.

While Twitter has constantly struggled to demonstrate a viable business model, the recent announcement of Promoted Tweets has excited some and dismayed others. What Twitter said yesterday is as follows:

"...aside from Promoted Tweets, we will not allow any third party to inject paid tweets into a timeline on any service that leverages the Twitter API."

I think Twitter is making the right move here. While they are initially turning down the potential for short-term revenue, they're more focused on preserving their existing user-experience over the long haul. I think that demonstrates maturity on the part of the higher-ups at Twitter. Many companies are looking for their quick cash out which unfortunately often comes at the expense of user satisfaction and experience. Most people don't want to see ads, especially ones that are put in by third parties that may bombard the user and not provide value. I think most people are willing to put up with some ads, considering Twitter is completely free to anyone right now.

Of late, certain companies ::cough Facebook cough:: have made changes to their policies at the expense of their userbase. I think Twitter is seeing what these other companies ::cough Facebook cough:: are doing and are trying to avoid the negative backlash associated with it. They've got the vision to take this slowly and not jump to a quick and easy pay out at the first chance.

I hope other companies take note of the fact that it is their extensive and loyal userbases that have brought them to where they are now. To navigate the landscape successfully, they need to take the wishes and feelings of their users into account. Making brash and significant changes without user input (and making it difficult for users to preserve their existing experience) can only lead to feelings of distrust and negativity.