Twitter is definitely changing the rules of engagement in the social media sphere. Last month, it blocked Instagram access to finding Twitter contacts, and yesterday it did the same for Tumblr, leading Tumblr to removing its find Twitter friends feature, too.
Tumblr responded to an inquiry about this state of affairs by Matthew Panzarino:
To our dismay, Twitter has restricted our users’ ability to “Find Twitter Friends” on Tumblr. Given our history of embracing their platform, this is especially upsetting. Our syndication feature is responsible for hundreds of millions of tweets, and we eagerly enabled Twitter Cards across 70 million blogs and 30 billion posts as one of Twitter’s first partners. While we’re delighted by the response to our integrations with Facebook and Gmail, we are truly disappointed by Twitter’s decision.
Next is likely to be Flipboard, who is stepping on Twitter’s toes in the social journal market space. I personally use Flipboard on my iPhone as an alternative Twitter client: it’s the only thing I use it for. I presume that means that Twitter will come up with something like Flipboard’s UX, and shut down Flipboard’s access to write to the Twitter stream.
I’m looking forward to more innovation from Twitter on the user experience side, not just this defensive API denial. Twitter needs a strong release with compelling new features to show where they are headed in their reconfiguration as media hub.
I don’t know if Twitter can become the ‘still center of the turning world’ but they have the best chance of all the players out there.
- Tumblr ‘Truly Disappointed’ That Twitter Revoked Its Friend-Finding Privileges (Anthony Ha via techcrunch.com) Mentions Nick Bolton’s defending Twitter (like nearly everyone else) and Matt Buchanan’s prediction that Twitter would block Tumblr
- Twitter and Tumblr Set Their Relationship Status to ‘It’s Complicated’ (Connor Simpson via theatlanticwire.com) A play on Facebook profile data, casting the brouhaha as a lover’s quarrel
- First Instagram, now Tumblr: blogging service pulls Twitter-based friend finding (theverge.com)
- Twitter doesn’t want to share friends with Tumblr (Jennifer Van Grove via venturebeat.com) Van Grove casts Twitter as a bully in this contretemps