Twitter Spells out Its Plan to Build the Largest Daily Audience in the World(▼)(▲)
November 12, 2014
Seth Fiegerman, writing for Mashable:
During the company's first Analyst Day event in San Francisco, Twitter CEO Dick Costolo revealed plans to reduce the friction of onboarding new users by introducing an "instant timeline" feature that would make it easier for users to discover content on the social network right away, without having to go through the trouble of finding accounts to follow.
"We believe that anyone should be able to come to Twitter and immediately feel deeply immersed in that world," Costolo said during his remarks at the event.
Costolo also announced plans to roll out "significant functionality" to private messages — or direct messages (DMs) — later this quarter. The move is presumably an effort to help Twitter catch up to and take advantage of the tremendous growth in messaging applications worldwide.
Beyond that, Costolo noted that Twitter does intend to introduce more standalone mobile applications in addition to Twitter and Vine.
I think all of these are great ideas. My favorite thing about Twitter is the ability to craft my timeline in exactly the way that I want, but when I first started out it was definitely difficult for me to find people I was interested in to follow. I think this is a huge barrier to entry for Twitter, and if they can implement this "instant timeline" effectively then it would open the door to millions more people to jump right into the service. I imagine they would do it by having new users select some subjects they are interested in during the signup process, then building a timeline around those interests.
To Costolo's second point, DMs could definitely use some added functionality. They've been barebones for too long, I would love to see the sending of links reenabled, as well as the character limit increased. There's really no reason to restrict private messages to 140 characters.
As for new standalone applications, I'm optimistic, but weary. Vine was fantastic, but #Music was junk. Hopefully whatever new apps they're working on will be as innovative and well implemented as the former.