Recently, Twitter has detached itself from other social platforms by cutting off access to its services.
Its first victim was LinkedIn, when it stopped it from feeding tweets automatically through its stream.
Messages initiated on LinkedIn can still be shared via Twitter, manually, where appropriate, which is the way it is meant to be.
Duplicating one post across different networks is not using them efficiently, and it’s becoming far too easy to post once and send the message out blindly to LinkedIn, Facebook etc. That’s verging on spam.
But Twitter didn’t do this to make LinkedIn a better place. It has its own roadmap, and has ‘…begun to more thoroughly enforce our Developer Rules of the Road with partners, for example with branding, and in the coming weeks, we will be introducing stricter guidelines around how the Twitter API is used.’
Just days ago, it was revealed that Instagram faced a similar snub, when it no longer allowed its users to scrape their Twitter followers to do a bulk import of friends to the photo-filter phenomenon.
It’s an easy way to build a quick following if you’re new to Instagram but not to Twitter. But again, all you’re doing is duplicating your networks, and again, Twitter and Instagram are different beasts.
Both moves are welcome in my opinion. Firstly LinkedIn was becoming a ‘dumping ground’ for lazy tweeters. Posts were being bundled into the LinkedIn stream wihout a thought for their context and quite frankly, watering down the business-like voice that LinkedIn is noted for.
What it did to Instagram could point to many things. Was it a snub to new owners Facebook, or is it an indication that Twitter might be planning an Instagram-like service of its own? Or is it simply that it feels its service is being used to rapidly build someone else’s network when it had to build its own, member-by-member, from nothing to over 500 million.
But the biggest question I’m asking is, will Facebook be next? I’ve always advised against linking Facebook to Twitter and vice versa, favouring a ‘horses for courses’ approach, using content that is suitable for, and styled for, individual networks.
In fact I wrote about it on this very blog (Why linking Twitter to Facebook is a dumbass thing to do) but with Twitter actively encouraging it on signup, and Facebook allowing the same to happen in reverse, it will continue unabated, if nobody cuts the cord.
Chalk and Cheese
The problem being that Facebook and Twitter are like chalk and cheese. They’re both social networks, but incredibly different. Like a broadsheet and tabloid are both newspapers, but the content published in each is different in style, content and design. Like I said, horses for courses.
So will Twitter put an end to this unhealthy liaison once and for all. Will they force people to think before they post: ‘which network is this bit of content best for?’.
If they do target Facebook next, it will cause the biggest outrage of all, because it is the one most used, or should I say abused.
For me, the chop won’t come soon enough. Roll on the ‘cleansing of the networks’. What do you think reader?
Marc Hindley is the founder of wonderfully creative web design consultancy, Canary Dwarf, who happen to be our technical partners.
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