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Director, OpenShift Strategy at Red Hat. Founder of Rishidot Research, a research community focused on services world. His focus is on Platform Services, Infrastructure and the role of Open Source in the services era. Krish has been writing @ CloudAve from its inception and had also been part of GigaOm Pro Analyst Group. The opinions expressed here are his own and are neither representative of his employer, Red Hat, nor CloudAve, nor its sponsors.

3 responses to “Twitter’s Walled Garden Strategy”

  1. Ryan Sarver

    Krishnan, thanks for taking time to write the post but I wanted to make sure I clarify a few points that I think you misunderstood about the announcement.

    – Branding – t.co only wraps the link passed in and then displays the original link to users. So if “http://nyti.ms/1234″ is the link getting shared (NYT’s brand) then t.co will wrap that but display “nyti.ms/1234″ to users, thus preserving the brand that was in the tweet.

    – User experience – I think you’re underestimating the user experience gain for mainstream users. Previously users needed to go off-site to 3rd party services in order to share most links. Most mainstream users have no idea that bit.ly or other similar services exist, so they would just be told by twitter that their tweet was too long and give up. This causes huge friction when sharing. The new system makes it automatic while still preserving bit.ly and other shorteners if people want to use them.

    – Competition – This is way overstated. Talk to bit.ly or awe.sm and ask how their business is doing. Both companies are thriving because they realized long ago that shortening links wasn’t a business. They instead built businesses around the analytics generated by their links across multiple services.

    Hope that helps clarify. Let me know if you have any other questions.

    Ryan
    @rsarver

  2. sull

    I am not against t.co as it is essentially standard behavior and most services do tracking (and security scans) during the redirect process even if they dont use a short url (i.e. Facebook).
    The service has merits and was inevitable. Surprised it took so long, actually. I do have a gripe and maybe it is because I am not understanding how to get around it… but the branding issue using the display_url (not nec a url but the text string used for the hyperlink in the tweet) seems controlled by Twitter as opposed to being customizable via the API. Again, maybe I am wrong here so correct me if so. It appears that the display_url takes a certain amount of characters from the expanded_url which is in fact an actual URL. So the branding capability here is to use the source domain plus some extra characters before being truncated. That is fine is most cases where the domain is the most important part of the brand connected to a link. But what if a brand wants to use their actual company name not in domain format (i.e. “via The NY Times”) or a tagline (i.e. “Unrivaled coverage. Unlimited access.). Without making judgement on the brandability aesthetics of my examples, the point is that customizing how the brand is displayed in a tweet seems like a feature that would be important, if not now then eventually. Is it possible? If so, can you point to the documentation on how to post a status update via the API that demonstrates how to control the display_url used in the tweet itself?

    Thanks, @rsarver.
    @sull