New Twitter Button, Brand or Platform Control?

by Travis Ketchum · 2 comments

You may or may not have heard that Twitter is rolling out their own official “Tweet” button for content sites, among others, to use for their audience to publish their content into the Twitter stream. A move like this from Twitter is important because it directly effects the many companies that publish Retweet type buttons to blogs etc in order to track and aggregate trending articles across a variety of niches. TweetMeme, arguably the largest of these aggregators isn’t being completely left out in the cold though since Twitter has paid to use some of TweetMeme’s backend code to facilitate this new feature.

Brand or Platform?

The most interesting part of this new product to me however, is figuring out whether or not this product is more about platform or brand control. The investors in Twitter have been saying for over a year that Twitter application developers need to “stop filling holes”. By that they are referring to the innovation coming out of many developer hot beds to fix the obvious gaps within the Twitter ecosystem. While you might think Twitter would appreciate all this innovation from its development community that made Twitter so popular to start with, but in fact Twitter has been gradually tearing apart the development community in order to deliver an end to end experience that consumers love.

This is in part motivated by control influences, but I feel that this is a big play by Twitter to control their brand across the web. If you have been noticing or not, Twitter has been implementing a refreshed sense of design across every product within their portfolio to deliver a clean and simple experience regardless of what platform you are using. This new button is no different in that the design, delivery and aggregration is now all under the control of Twitter itself instead of a 3rd party.

What are your thoughts? Do you think Twitter is being fair with gradually consuming each outlet of their data to control the user experience, or should 3rd parties be encouraged to compete against Twitter itself to add features and usability?

About Travis Ketchum
A smart ass marketer who doesn't take no for an answer and always questions the status quo. Connect with me on Google+. Convinced yet? Get more tips and great content 100% free.

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Building a sustainable business is all about how well you can gather and maintain an audience. An email list is still one of the most viable ways to do just that.

We wanted to find a way to build an email incredibly fast, in a way that people actually find interesting, engaging and well - cool. It took a lot of testing to weed-whack through all the hype and find something that really worked.

The result? We ended up building our own solution, focused around the idea of contests and rewarding people for taking the actions that ultimately led to more leads on our email list. Everyone wins (and some literally do!), because as it turns out people love contests regardless of their market place.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Alex Hansen August 19, 2010 at 12:21 AM

I think twitter has made a smart move in the short term regarding their control over the brand, but what was it that got em to this point in the first place?…. 3rd party innovation. I think room for innovation by outside parties is a must at all times, but from a business perspective on twitters part its a bold move for control.


Michael Dossett September 4, 2010 at 12:49 PM

I enjoy the continuity that is being provided by official Twitter products (Tweet Button, Official Twitter for iPhone App, etc.). @ev said that a lot of people just don’t know how to use Twitter, and that likely has to do with the fact that there are all these Tweetmeme, Seesmic, TweetDeck, UberTwitter 3rd party clients that piggyback on Twitter, but don’t do much to develop its brand. Of course competition is healthy, but when it comes at the expense of Twitter’s credibility, it eventually hurts everyone. More people will adopt Twitter when namesake apps/clients/buttons are available, and from there people can make a choice about the 3rd party client they would like to use. For example, I love the official Twitter for my iPhone, and I happily use TweetDeck on my computer.


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