Twitter is old media

When I referenced Twitter switching off RSS access in a post the other day, I was probably a little kind to them, observing instead that XML had had its day.

What's become clear about this is that Twitter are switching off any kind of anonymous access to their API, restricting it to OAuth-identified server-to-server requests. Overnight, Twitter are no longer a platform. They're a media company with carefully monitored access agreements.

I find it interesting to examine my response to this: I feel disappointed, as they're explicitly making money off my content now. That wasn't the bargain Twitter made with me six years ago, and the one I've come to rely on. (Though Google+ also doesn't allow RSS, I knew the game from the start there, and I have at least +Brian Fitzpatrick and the data liberation front to reassure me.)

Twitter's bait-and-switch, now they've built their reach on the back of eager early adopters, is disappointing. It marks them as part of old, unenlightened, business, and consigns them to a far less remarkable place in the future economy than they otherwise might have had.

I think it was +Jeff Jarvis who observed around the time of the Olympics that Twitter have become an old-style media company. These actions validate that completely. Twitter is turning into cable TV.

I'll probably still use Twitter, the distribution is helpful. But how I use it changed. I'm no longer part of a supporting ecosystem, but a customer with an arm's-length relationship. I trust them as much as I do Comcast, Verizon or AT&T. Which is to say, hardly at all.
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