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The Twitter Timeline

Last week I wrote a post about what I didn’t like about the new Twitter design. My argument misses an important point – Twitter is on its own timeline. They are on a journey, just like everyone else, and are moving down the road towards realizing what Twitter ought to be. This recent version of Twitter will not be the last – the product and the company continue to evolve.

Are they moving in the right direction? This article implies they are. Twitter appears to be working on maturing the organization and the product at the same time. These are probably the right priorities – and certainly better than no priorities.

Reading the tea leaves a bit, it appears that for Twitter Inc. revenue is no longer a distraction and that public navel gazing and “star fucking” does little or nothing to contribute to the bottom-line and the future of the company.

Analysing whether or not they’ve made all the right decisions concerning the product misses a big point. Twitter is turning the ship and making progress towards where they need to be. By focusing on their organization, people and execution they are developing broad internal expertise in how they achieve results. This might be the biggest difference between Facebook Today and Twitter Today. Facebook executes, Twitter posts about it. I think this is changing and Twitter is becoming an organization that executes.

If successful, this means the end of the line for all of the weird usability artifacts that the Twitter UI has been wrestling with these past four years. It also means Twitter Inc. will be a vastly improved organization deeply invested in building great products and delivering great service.

This is important for the future of the web. The other large social networks, Facebook specifically, exists to replace the web. Twitter, on the other hand, exists to make the web better. The world doesn’t need another AOL, it needs a better web and if Twitter plays its cards right, they could insinuate themselves with the web in such a way that they become a big part of the social backplane that is evolving to support the Open Web – a role that Facebook appears to have completely rejected in favour of what it views as larger goals.

But that would be the subject of another post completely.