Oh, Twitter

Oh Twitter

Update: Twitter’s Investor Relation’s account has posted a response to criticism of the statement made on the call yesterday. They have admitted that blame is on their end and how they handled things around the update instead of the fault being on Apple’s OS. Kudos to them for making the correction.

Twitter is the only social network I have come to actively use. It keeps me in touch with like-minded friends, news, and celebrities, i.e., tech writers, podcasters, and Anna Kendrick It does so in a way that other platforms never could. It’s fantastic.

However, I have come to develop two major complaints about the platform. Nothing is perfect, except maybe my favorite movie and everything could use improvement. I admit that, and Twitter has so many great things to offer that my complaints are really just whining. But here goes.

  1. The folks running Twitter don’t seem to know what made their platform so great, and as a result they keep damaging it through experiments.
  2. Third party developers, I feel, are a major contributor to their success and Twitter’s little bird has repeatedly been shitting all over them.

I won’t go into the first point right now. And if you want to read a better argument about the second point take a look at Marco Arment’s post on this.

But I do want to add one thing about that second complaint. 9to5Mac pointed out today that on Twitter’s earnings call they blamed Apple’s release of iOS 8 for a decrease in their active user numbers[1]. If this were actually true it would be a case of the pot calling the kettle black. Twitter changes their platform all the time in a way that damages third party developers, but when Apple changes their platform and it effects Twitter they suddenly think it’s worth whining about.

However, the changes in iOS 8 are not really the issue. The “active users” they had lost were apparently from automatic fetching of links for Safari or users who forgot their passwords after updating to iOS 8 and never logged back in. I’m sorry, Twitter, but in neither case were those “active” users. Your previous data was just inaccurate and you should admit that. Instead your CFO opted to make an excuse for it by blaming another platform. This in turn does nothing more than make the company look like a hypocrite.

Now that I’ve written that I’m going to go back to checking my Twitter feed.

  1. I admit I have not listened to the earnings call and I am trusting 9to5Mac’s reporting on this.