Friday, June 29, 2012

Twitter: bye-bye LinkedIn, hello Facebook

LinkedIn announced today that it will no longer display tweets in its home page.  LinkedIn will continue to support posting its network updates to Twitter, however.  On the surface this sounds like LinkedIn's decision to stop displaying tweets.  But there is more happening here than meets the eyes.
Twitter is changing its dance partner;
bye-bye LinkedIn, hello Facebook.

When Twitter first started it began with full-fledged API support for third party Twitter clients.  It had the simpler post structure than Facebook, and that meant API to expose Twitter's capability was lot simpler than Facebook's.  Because of its simplicity, many developers flocked to develop their own Twitter client.  Many popular apps were born such as TweetDeck, HootSuite, UberTwitter, CoTweet, Twitterfeed, etc.


As Twitter built up its critical user base and started to get noticed by media, Twitter changed its strategy.  It started to actively discourage its third party app developers from building Twitter clients.

Why?  Because Twitter started to realize that in order to generate revenue, they must control visitor's eyeball, and easiest way to do it is to have all users come to Twitter.com or its iPhone/Android client.  As long as they control user's eyeball, they figured it must be possible to monetize the value that end users are getting out of Twitter.

Similar thing has happened with LinkedIn.  Before LinkedIn and Twitter partnership started in 2009, Twitter was still lagging behind LinkedIn in terms of unique audiences.  According to Nielsen Wire, Twitter had 2.3 million users while LinkedIn had 11.9 million users as of September 2008.

3 years later Twitter claims the second spot in the most popular social networks following Facebook.  LinkedIn is lagging behind as the number three in social networking site traffic and estimated monthly active users.

Could it be that Twitter sees no more value in the partnership with LinkedIn?  It looks like Twitter is okay with LinkedIn adding to tweets, but not okay with displaying tweets (hence acting as third party client).

Contrast that with relationship with Facebook.  Facebook and Twitter first rolled out their integration back in 2011 that allows Facebook status updates to be posted on Twitter.  Earlier this month the integration between Facebook and Twitter got silently revamped to support posting tweets on Facebook Pages.

Although I don't know what Twitter's strategy is moving forward, track record has been pretty consistent.  Twitter is solely catering to its users, and is determined to control its own portal experience as much as it can while expanding its user base by partnering with bigger player.

Because of VC funds that Twitter raised and growing shareholders, it will be inevitable for Twitter to seek IPO in relatively near future.  When it does, it will likely be awarded for its tightly controlled user experience.  Some pundits are already saying Twitter's strategy is paying off on mobile.

Let's watch how it unfolds.

14 comments:

  1. This is both good and bad news for SEO specialists like seo company australia. The separation of Linkedin will reduce the SEO efforts for profiles in Linkedin. However, with facebook and twitter, efforts will be more concentrated on these two social network sites.

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    1. Since this post last year, Twitter and Facebook are butting their heads to compete for mobile users. Instagram stopping sharing photo on Twitter was how it became obvious. WSJ ran an article on this topic: Facebook Spars With Twitter in December 2012.

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  2. Maybe that’s the reason why twitter stopped instagram photo sharing on their app. This is really a bad news for some people who couldn’t connect to twitter via IG. I just wish they reconsider things and allow IG photo sharing on twitter.

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    1. I think that it's very unlikely. One thing is for sure: users are the ones losing out as hidden price of using these social networks increases.

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  3. This means that SEO efforts will need to be doubled, posting on facebook as well as twitter.

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    1. Facebook offers a way to post to Twitter. To my surprise, it still works (https://www.facebook.com/twitter/). Twitter to Facebook posting used to be supported, but it looks like Twitter took out the support (https://support.twitter.com/articles/31113).

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  4. Business partnerships always come to an end. May be it via merging or buy out. There will always be shareholders that want to dominate. Hunger for power is something that can't be cured and it exists on everyone of us. I know that LinkedIn can deal with this, they should focus on their expertise.

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    1. LinkedIn is doing fantastically as recent stock price is near 52-weeks high. I think that it has to do with a clear business context. LinkedIn users understand what they get from keeping their profile up to date and sharing content. That's working well for LinkedIn.

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  5. These social media sites still have flaws; but still people use them for business purposes for its virality over the internet and even globally. With social media sites’ power, it can be used as a marketing tool.

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    1. Absolutely agree that social media has become a part of marketing strategy.

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  6. Before, social media are used for plainly socialization. Nowadays, integration of social media can be seen as part of the online marketing strategy of every businesses.

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    1. Now I see a pattern. Comment on social media blog post to increase SEO as social media marketing strategy. Brilliant :-)

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  7. Its been years but I don't see the point of why they should integrate their post on Facebook. I think they are quite popular to ride on Facebook's popularity. I hope that Twitter would not end up being absorbed by the bigger social networking site.

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  8. Good title: Twitter: bye-bye LinkedIn, hello Facebook , I like the Social media blogs/ http://mediaconnective.com/

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