What Twitter Needs to Do to Become Apple
Utility. Design. Overall user experience. Ultimately, Twitter will stand the test of time and end up as dominant and ubiquitous over generations as the newspaper. Because the people who lead Twitter and the wider new/social media revolution embrace change and dictate the future, the medium will not suffer to the extent print has.
I make my case for Twitter over Facebook -- as a daily habit and sustainable platform -- in August's Why Twitter Will Live and Facebook Will Die .
That said, Twitter needs to be better. Popular snark says Apple (AAPL) should buy Twitter. That's wrong on so many levels.
First, the "buy Twitter" talk (which I have entertained in the past) is little more than knee-jerk reaction to the inane hysteria that surrounds Apple today , none of which, by the way, emanates from Cupertino. It's all media- and analyst-driven external crap.
Second, Twitter should want no part of an Apple buyout. I bet Jack Dorsey would be against it. Dick Costolo, too. I would hope less-well-off employees would not endorse it merely for the cash grab, as enticing as it might be. If Apple pulls Twitter into the Apple fold, Twitter loses its authenticity.Instead, Twitter should be in the business of pulling others into its fold.
It has serious leverage in this area.
Here's the theory: As our use of mobile devices matures, if you want to thrive as a standalone app, you're going to need to put forth an incredibly compelling and consistent offering. People do not have the time or the inclination to thumb through dozens of apps to complete every-day utilitarian, informational and social tasks.
In other words, we have endless choice vis-a-vis the number of apps we can download. Then, once loaded to a device, we prioritize where, when and how often we will access each app. If I am in transit, sitting at my desk or just chilling on the couch, I want a one-stop shop with an as uncluttered and smooth interface as possible for performing as many functions as possible.
As it stands, you reach for your smartphone -- often an iPhone or Samsung product -- to do something. Whatever. Get news. Check weather. Send a message. A growing number of us do this constantly 24/7. Twitter can be, should be and already sort of is (for some) the go-to app when the smartphone comes out of your pocket, purse or attache case!
From there, it's all about convenience, including as many key tasks as part of the Twitter platform. So, a user does not have to leave Twitter to do X, Y or Z. The tricky part - this convenience cannot come at the expense of Twitter's intuitive and slick interface.