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Big Revolution - A slower Twitter?

Welcome to Thursday’s Big Revolution, let’s dive straight in... – Martin
August 16 · Issue #172 · View online
Big Revolution
Welcome to Thursday’s Big Revolution, let’s dive straight in…

Big things you need to know today
  • Jack Dorsey says he’s rethinking how Twitter works, following ongoing user anger over abuse and moderation issues. Ideas so far include showing alternative views in your timeline (no nazis please!) and labelling bots (definitely a good idea).
  • Uber is reportedly considering selling off its self-driving vehicle unit as it tries to cut losses ahead of a planned IPO next year, The Information reports. Long-term, this is probably a bad idea.
The big thought
Credit: on Unsplash
A future for third-party Twitter apps
What now for third-party Twitter apps? Twitter is today switching off the APIs that let them offer a decent experience to their users.
For an idea of just how much worse they’ll be as a result, here’s Tweetbot’s latest changelog
In short, anyone who relies on Twitter for timely information will have to switch to the official app, with all its in-timeline ads. Great for Twitter, jarring for users.
But what of the third-party clients? What could they do apart from offer a second-rate service or simply shut down?
What struck me when I read Tweetbot’s changelog was that a lot of those features tie quite nicely into the ‘digital detox’ and ‘time well spent’ movements. What if a Twitter app was built around a slow burn of information rather than a firehose?
Twitter addicts who find themselves compulsively refreshing their Twitter feeds (I count myself as one of these) could benefit with an app with well-designed restrictions.
Sure, not every third-party client could pull this off, but I reckon there’s something in the idea of taking the API limitations and turning them into something positive.
Of course, given how fond Twitter is of changing the goalposts in the future with little communication, I wouldn’t blame developers for just sacking it all in and walking away.
One big read
How social media took us from Tahrir Square to Donald Trump How social media took us from Tahrir Square to Donald Trump
“How did digital technologies go from empowering citizens and toppling dictators to being used as tools of oppression and discord?” Zeynep Tufekci charts digital-powered social change in the 21st century.
One big tweet
I was going to share this yesterday, but in case you’ve not seen it yet… Click through for the full effect.
Neil Cybart
Jony Ive, Chief Design Officer for the entire smartphone industry.
9:15 PM - 14 Aug 2018
That’s all for today...
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