This morning, an announcement from Twitter, in conjunction with Google, that they're going to do an "open source" implementation of Facebook's Instant Articles. A few comments.
They continue to chip away at the 140-char limit. Why not just go all the way? The 140-char limit is holding them back in their most important application, news. This is just a complicated way of working around the limit.
Don't confuse "open source" with "open." If it's open source, presumably we'll all know how it works. That's good, of course. But the channel will not be open to anyone who wants to use it. They're careful to disclaim that.
This is a classic second-mover tactic. Facebook went first, Facebook owns the high ground. So challenge Facebook to be "open" by throwing a little confusion at the press. But...
Facebook can and should beat them to it. I'm pretty sure their implementation is just RSS, which is already both open source and open to everyone to use. And stable, easy to build on.
I would like to be able to use this channel to publish, and include the capability in my publishing tools. But Twitter isn't saying anything about that. They're working with another big company, Google. Not encouraging for its wounded developers, a group that Twitter needs to make peace with.
This would be a good time for the leaders of the journalism world to get involved, publicly. No one wins with the tech platforms playing favorites as they like to do. Let's get back to some semblance of the open web. Twitter, Facebook and Google grew out of the open web. Yes, they're all really big now, but they should still be part of the open web, so that new social networks can blossom. We're getting kind of stuck here. Long-term that will not be good for the leaders of the tech world, as history has shown.