This quote from a recent Dick Costello appearance is telling:
As far as the future of the service, Costolo feels like there’s a lot of room for growth. Battelle asked him what he felt was the biggest misconception about Twitter and Costolo quickly replied: “That you have to tweet to use Twitter.”
I feel like if certain forces within Twitter – and other social networks, it’s by no means alone in this – would be fine if their network became TV. By that I mean they want a passively consumed platform that is filled with primarily professional content and which people are simply asked to watch and, if they absolutely have to, interact with in some form. But please don’t produce anything original, thank you very much, that’s harder for us to sell ads against.
Now I’ll admit that’s probably a drastic interpretation of the text. All he likely meant was that people shouldn’t feel the burden to be writing all sorts of pithy stuff of their own but instead are welcome to follow the profiles of their choice and feel more connected to those who they do choose to connect with and maybe click through every once in a while when a retailer offers a sale that’s that’s attractive to them.
It doesn’t change the gut feeling I have, though, that all of overtures the company has made to big media companies are indicative of Twitter’s desire to be a channel for those media companies as opposed to a peer social network. Again, other companies are going down similar roads but this comment is, I think, indicative of that bigger trend.