Recent news of Twitter purchasing Tweetdeck and cutting off third-party development of Twitter clients has me wondering where Twitter is headed. Twitter has no doubt proved itself as a contender in the online service arena. But can it prove it’s well-carved niche with the likes of Google and Facebook?
With the limitation of additional third-party clients and Twitter themselves gobbling up the big names in the client space, it’s clear that Twitter is aiming to consolidate and make the Twitter experience more consistent. Is that the only reason? Maybe. Maybe not.
With Twitter’s success comes eyeballs, and lot’s of them. Lately, Twitter has been monetizing the size of their audience with promoted tweets, or purchased tweets that appear on every search and trending topic. It’s a method that has worked so far, but it’s not targeted. Even Facebook will tell you, targeted advertising is where the revenue is.
Maybe their next step is more relevant ads; ads that are based the content of your lists and what you are tweeting and retweeting. Sound familiar? Facebook uses a similar method to target ads on your Facebook profile. It’s a strategy that requires plenty of infrastructure. If we look close enough, some of that infrastructure is already in place with the “Who to Follow” feature.
What is the benefit to Twitter of having users choose a Twitter-branded client instead of the many third-party offerings? My guess is to measure front-end metrics. Fragmentation among clients could make it difficult to truly measure front end user activity. Back end activity is already being captured through the current client calls to the API. This all only makes sense if Twitter jumps into the targeted ad space.
What are your thoughts? Would it affect how you use Twitter if they moved to targeted advertising?