Every time something changes, the focus is tightly concentrated on the change.

Today, I read about how Periscope's broadcasts within Twitter will impact brands.

I don't disagree with any of the comments. I guess my issue is whether its the right question to focus on.

This is something I was trying to articulate recently, but I think that I fell into the same trap of looking at the tweets instead of the timeline.

Making a tweet more flexible is understandable when you look at TWTR the business, and how they can improve their service to their customers – the advertisers who pay their bills, the brands creating content to populate the platform.

But if1 the important thing about Twitter isn't the quality of advertising/brand tweets, but actually the newsfeed that millions of people dip into on a regular basis (ie. the environment that the adverts appear in, rather than the ad units themselves), and the important thing for those users is that they can skim through a few dozen tweets in the time it takes to wait for their coffee to pour, or while waiting for a meeting to start, or the train to stop, then maybe it isn't such a positive story.

It might well be great news for the people streaming their live videos 1 – but is it as good for the people whose timelines they appear in? Or for the other hundreds of Twitter users whose Tweets are alongside them in my timeline? I'm pretty sure that the number of people putting videos in their tweets are going to be much smaller than the number putting photos in their tweets – which in turn is smaller than the number of people on Twitter in the first place. (Affinio reckon that 90% of Twitter's users are 'silent'.)

I guess the secret to being 'good at Twitter' as a (non-publishing) user is looking after your Follow list to look after your timeline. I'm just not sure if Twitter are really thinking about the timeline in the same sort of way.

  1. Bearing in mind that this is a commercial business that hasn't yet really proved that it has a glittering future, it is a big "if"

  2. Well, it might be great news. It might be that the amazing thing that they are watching is less important than making sure they are framing the important things on their smartphone screen, that they still have a decent mobile signal, that they are keeping an eye on the comments and interactions… So, good for brands, less good for 'normal' people. Also, eerily reminiscent of The Circle, if you've read it.