Is Twitter Toast?

Developers Abandoning Ship

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Self-titled "Social Applications Guru," Jesse Stay, on his StayNAlive blog, suggests its time to charge up the defibrillators* for Twitter. The reason: Third-party developers are bailing out due to Twitter’s continuous technical problems.

By following trends he sees among developers at the Twitter Development Talk discussion thread at Google Groups, Stay predicts that once developers go, users won’t be far behind.

One developer cites Twitter’s frequent down time and the unreliability of Twitter APIs. Stay pulls a gem of a typo-filled quote from Twitter developer Alex Payne, who says by their metrics, Twitter has "been pretty solid over the last few days."

Another developer responded that "pretty solid" for a "few days" doesn’t do much to boost his confidence.

Twitter’s not Google, but just imagine if the best Google could do suddenly was for-the-most-part work right between Monday and Thursday. I think the whole Internet might just crack open and release the enslaved demonic forces** running the thing into the brick-and-mortar world.

I’m not sure I believe Stay’s prediction that Twitterers will soon abandon ship, though. I still like it, and continue to check it and update it from time to time. On the other hand, it wouldn’t be the end of my world if it wasn’t there. I guess you could say I’m kind of neutral about it. 

*These would be called Tweetibrillators?
**Disclaimer: I don’t really think enslaved demonic forces power the Internet. They’re too busy playing roller derby in Dick Cheney’s head.


Is Twitter Toast?
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  • http://www.e-commercewebdesign.co.uk Adam – E-commerce Web Design

    Unfortunately, it’s just not good enough from Twitter. You can’t expect a high profile company like this to please stakeholders and users if the service isn’t up to the standard of otehr Web 2.0 giants.

    Like William said with Plurk, there are many alternatives out there.

  • http://coxy.me.uk/ coxy

    The whole Twitter thing seems pretty pointless to me anyway, what with Facebook, MySpace and other services like Opera Community having status updates.

    The way I see it – all my friends are on Facebook or MySpace already, why make all my friends sign up to yet another new website just so I can broadcast my status to them, when the facilities to do this are already in the social network we currently use.





  • http://www.lightingsupply.com Commerical Lighting Guy

    I never could get with the whole twitter thing.  I’m sticking with facebook and linkedin.

  • http://staynalive.com Jesse Stay

    If developers begin leaving, you have to expect Twitterers to follow suit.  The API currently gets 10 time the traffic of the Twitter website itself – developers deciding to stop supporting the API would have huge affect on the networks each Twitterer has.

    As I mentioned in my article, imagine if Bear, developer of Twhirl, were to make a Plurk client for Twitter, and then decide to stop supporting Twitter.  I don’t have numbers on the number of Twhirl users, but I’m willing to bet it’s a big chunk of that API usage.  Very quickly you would see swarms of users using Plurk, as well as the Twhirl FriendFeed client now because they no longer have Twitter via that client.

    Don’t get me wrong – I’m a Twitter fan as much as the rest of them, but as a developer myself, I get the frustration these guys are having.  I personally have a revenue model relying partly on the Twitter API and because of such I have to have it work.  If I’m going to spend my time and money continuing to support and develop for it I need to see more effort from Twitter to get the API in working order.

  • http://www.yummyfood.net Guido

    I mean, who care if  I’m painting a screen door, or i’m blogging about the yahoo microsoft soap opera?
    My friends, usually check my blog on daily basis, and other just add my RSS to their fav. application.
    Twitter is the most useless thing of the whole internet and that’s why  it’s so popular. it’s just like YouCrap.. err…. i meant Youtube:  the crappier is the video the most clicks it gets.
    I wonder how long until this social web bubble will blow.
    Just my 2 cents.


    • Guest

      what you are talking about – sounds like you need some networking classes I know many people that are using twitter to network sucessfully – you obviously haven’t been given access to the little secret every networker knows about networking – probably for good reason – so I ain’t spillin’ the beans for you, keeps th floor clean for the people that know what they are doing, deary me…

  • http://www.sevendecasa.eu Emma

    When i first looked into twitter, i really could not see the point.

    then i gave it a go.

    it is easy to add people to follow – something that is more difficult with facebook and other similar sites.

    You simply add a twit, which is straight to the point and no added rubbish just to filll in space and others can view it.

    i get quite a lot of traffic from my twitter.com/sevendecasa”> twitter account, all my twits update my facebook.com/profile.php?id=1122758076″> facebook account.

    I like twittering and although at times you wish you were allowed to write more, it just means you get straight to the point.


    It is true that at times there are technical difficulties but they don’t frustrate me to the point that i don’t go back.

    there is something about twitter than is fun and makes you return…

  • http://www.FansWithPride.com Brianne K

    The most awkward part of Twitter is getting set up. You essentially need to either contact random Twitter users to check out your site (which feels a little spammy to me) or try to strong arm your friends into logging in and giving you a thumbs up.

    It seems to be a more time-consuming process in building a network and recognition than using a more popular site where your friends already exist and / or are eager to join.

  • Ray

    Twitter who?

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