Tea-leave reading about Twitter
by Dave Winer Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Tea-leave reading about Twitter has gotten more interesting as there are leaks coming from top management and the board. I try not to do company gossip here on Scripting News, so suffice it to say that some people at Twitter want to sell out, and others don't.

As I said yesterday it would be a shame if Twitter sold out now. So while I agree with the people at Twitter who say "don't sell now!" -- I don't agree with their reason. They are imho making a bad bet on the ability of internal development at Twitter to generate the breakthrough needed so that Twitter can achieve its destiny (no sarcasm) as the News System of the Future. 

I've said many times over the years that Twitter is at least the prototype of the news system of the future. Now I'd go a step further and say it is the news system of the future.

It is. Maybe just for the moment, but all news happens on Twitter these days. I once thought it was extreme to predict that the entire Congress would be made up of blogger and tweeters, but now the presidential campaign of 2016 is happening on Twitter. Other parts of the Internet are important too. But the center of news flow is Twitter. 

It's a layer of the Internet. And the company must let it be that. The business model should be like that of AWS. If you want to build an app on their infrastructure, you pay per message sent. Set up a banking system to make it easy for app devs to collect revenue from users. 

And link storage to each Twitter account, the way Amazon does with S3. Developers use the storage for their apps.

And boom a new app type is born. An app that lives entirely in the cloud and is EASY TO WRITE. 

The easy part is important for the millions of new programmers who will come online in the next few years.

And btw, do the same as Apple did with schools and universities in the early days of the Mac. For students the service is virtually free. 

This is the kind of reorg that Twitter needs. Undo the mistakes of earlier management, when they moved away from developers. If you're looking for the analog to Apple, and everyone always is, this is similar to how Steve Jobs undid the licensing deals done by Spindler.

Twitter should be the platform that developers love. It doesn't have to change the way the current management thinks it does. It just has to do much more of what it already does. 

PS: I've always encouraged the news industry to care about what happens in the tech industry, as it's clear the two are merging in interesting ways. This transaction matters to journalism. I hope the thinkers and visionaries of news are paying attention.