Twitter is rolling out their polls feature.
How many normal Twitter users care about polls? That’s obviously not going to be a big deal in terms of solving “Twitter’s problems” of not growing fast enough and not generating a ton of revenue.
Twitter Polls is an ideal example of something that should just be a third party app. In a world where you can build apps on top of Twitter that seamlessly integrate into the Twitter UI and/or can live outside of it – this is an interesting product for a small team to build on top of Twitter. Everybody wins.
At the same time, their CEO is apologizing to developers.
I worked on a project built entirely on top of Twitter. It’s going to take a lot of time and effort to heal the Twitter-developer relationship but it’s worth it. I would not build a software business on top of Twitter right now, because if it’s any good there’s a good chance Twitter will just build the same thing themselves.
I think the only way for Twitter to succeed is to make it into the de-facto communication layer that allows both machine-machine, machine-human and human-human communication and regain developers trust enough for them to build real businesses on top of this layer.
And they should charge developers for it.
I think there’s “common knowledge” saying that you can’t justify a company the size of Twitter (~ 20B market cap) buy selling APIs. You must also sell higher order services, to larger markets (consumers, not developers). Maybe Twitter can be the one to break this mold.