In the movie “Swingers,” Vince Vaughn’s character bursts with bravado and confidence. His counterpoint is Jon Favreau’s character, who is seemingly void of any self-esteem. In one memorable scene, Vaughn tells Favreau, “you are so money and you don’t even know it.” That sums up my feelings about Twitter.
This past week marked Twitter’s sixth birthday, a week where Twitter “upgraded” their under-performing acquisition TweetDeck. If you’re unfamiliar with TweetDeck, think of it as the Jon Favreau of social clients. A little clumsy, understated and not too different from Hootsuite and a host of similar product offerings. The highlight of the upgrade was advanced retweeting capabilities (which most third part apps have had for a long time).
On the other hand, Twitter is the Vince Vaughn of social networks. It may not have the reach of some others (most notably Facebook), but it is elegant in its simplicity and confident enough to make its API available to a degree unmatched in any other network. Is the Twitter interface a little slow? Use Tweetree. Want to manage tweets in a spreadsheet? Use the Archivist and GrabInbox or AutoTweeter Pro. Want to schedule your tweets? Use Buffer, TweetAdder, Hootsuite or Twuffer. Want to analyze your followers and upload their data? Use SocialBro. In fact, TweetDeck’s greatest value might be to indicate how limited the Twitter platform would be without the openness of their API.
Point being, Twitter is exceptional because it is a great medium AND because it gives developers all of the access they need to creatively morph the basic product for extraordinary uses. Twitter reflects the values of a crowdsourced world moreso than any other major social platform. The fact that six years after launch they continue to hold that distinction indicates to me that other platforms aren’t willing to compete on that level.
If that’s true, plan to celebrate many more birthdays with Twitter.
“You don’t look at the things that you have, you only look at the stuff that you don’t have. Those guys are right about you – you’re money.” – Vince Vaughn