Will Twitter Sell Its Soul Like Facebook Did? (Update 1)
Updated from 7:44 p.m. 9/12/2013 with an embedded video of the author's Friday morning appearance on CNBC .
First, I am on record as the first person known to man to suggest "TWIT" as the ticker symbol for Twitter as a publicly-traded entity. It's timestamped in a November 7, 2012 article where I suggested Facebook
Just remember where you heard that bit of sheer brilliance first.
Second, while I love Twitter, I'm concerned.
There's no question the company's investors and employees should be able to cash in on an IPO. It has become the American way, at least in certain parts of the world, particularly Silicon Valley. It's the new American dream. And it's most likely here to stay. It's not a runaway American dream.
That said, I want to see Twitter become whatever Twitter can become unabated by the pesky requirements of Wall Street investors. Because, there's no question -- Twitter, simply by making the choice to go public, will wind up something other than it would have been had it stayed private.
From a product and user experience standpoint, that might not be a good thing.
To a certain extent, companies such as Facebook and Pandora
As I explain in the above-linked article, both companies, for better or worse, abandoned their social missions for the sake of revenue and the quest for profit. It depends on who you talk to, but more than a few people -- as they continue to use Facebook and Pandora obsessively -- will tell you that increased advertising and such has hurt the user experience. And I would argue it has taken away from Facebook's mission to connect the world and Pandora's pledge to be a champion for indie artists.
Priorities get out of whack. That's just how it goes. There's really no avoiding it.
Third, keep an eye on the mobile advertising space. Right now the major players are Google