Greg Morris

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Knowing what you are and what you need

Jacob Kastrenakes on Twitters new features:

Direct payment tools have become increasingly important for creators in particular in recent years. Patreon has been hugely successful, and other platforms including Facebook, YouTube, and even GitHub have all launched direct creator payment features.

Growth growth growth. That’s the name of the game in big tech and there is no room for excuses. Instead of developing and building in what your platform offers, the current state of play is stuffing everything that is good about other platforms into your own.

There is nothing inherently wrong with, cough, borrowing features as long as you know what you are and where you’re going. What becomes apparent very quickly is when the borrowing becomes desperate and this seems like one of those times. Here’s Jacob on the second feature Twitter wants to implement.

Groups have been a huge success for Facebook (and a huge moderation problem, too), and they could be a particularly helpful tool on Twitter, since the service’s open-ended nature can make it difficult for new users to get started on the platform.

Whilst the getting paid for your tweets sounds understandable, if a little far fetched. If you needed any more proof that Twitter has no idea what actually makes Twitter different from others, it’s the choice to bring closed groups into an open platform.

Whilst Twitters issues are huge and never ending, and attempts to make it more community based could be a huge positive step. Groups are not the way to do it. This limits reach, closes open discussions down and separates Twitter into silos that go against its very nature. The constant, always on, and open nature of Twitter is what attracts its users to love it most. It feels more personal than curated posts on other platforms. Twitter doesn’t need to be more Facebook, particularly at a time like this.

Of course neither of these have launched yet, and there is no date for either of these things, so I’m reluctant to make any huge sweeping judgements, but all of the features that seem to come from Twitter just don’t seem like they come from Twitter.

Perhaps shareholders need to see some return and stuffing in features that work in other places is what they demand. Who knows, but they certainly don’t seem to know what Twitter is, or what it needs.