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?