Saturday, May 28, 2011

Twitter reportedly acquired TweetDeck, and that’s likely to be the first of many changes. Business Insider recently suggested that Twitter only has 21 million active users, and a lot more people who read of those users’ tweets. While at first blush this number may look really bad, it is actually an indicator that Twitter has matured. Twitter is a micro blogging platform, and has followed the same trajectory as blogs. At first, everyone blogged. Now only a few blogs really matter.



As Twitter becomes the go-to source of information for news, celebrities and more, it’s differentiated from Facebook, which is very focused on what your friends are posting. With this shift in mind, below are some features Twitter could quickly add via targeted acquisitions that could bring back the company’s mojo, scale users, and add multiple revenue streams.

Add a news view

With a Twitter news view, newbies and infrequent users would start with a broad view of what is currently interesting in the news, and as they follow sources and curators they would be able to personalize their experience and drastically increase Twitter usage. Adding a news feature could be accelerated by acquiring Twitter newspaper makers such as Paper.li or Tweeted Times, with a blend of Tweet Meme to rank the articles.
Show photos, videos and other media inline

The Twitter user interface has been stalled almost since its inception. Although users can now click to fetch linked media, it is not an ideal experience, especially since users are now accustomed to seeing photos and videos in line with the Facebook newsfeed.

More Twitter widgets for websites

Facebook is blanketing the web with its social plugins ranging from Likes to Comments, and Twitter needs to stake its claim on websites, especially news sites. An equivalent of Facebook’s recommendations plugin that shows what content on a site is actively being tweeted would be relatively easy to create. In addition, context about what people are saying about an article could be added by acquiring Back Type, which offers a widget that shows all of the tweets and comments about a particular URL.

Twitter 2.0 will make money
Twitter has experienced tremendous traffic growth, and more importantly has permeated into the collective consciousness with constant Twitter quotes by news organizations and entertainers. Twitter’s valuation has gone up as people expect it to monetize its traction with both consumers and brands. Here are a few of the features that would seriously inflect the Twitter revenue curve.

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