Twitter +Tweetdeck the Rapture and IOS 5

Jun 15, 2011

Way back in 2009 I wrote an article about Twitter Dashboards. I had been wanting to write an update to it for some time now, so even though this rambling doesn’t talk only about dashboards — let’s consider this the follow up to that article.

There have been so many developments since then.

Consolidation
Did Twitter’s Acquisition of Tweetdeck deliver a deathblow for other established dashboards like SeesmicHootsuite or newcomers like Ashton Kutcher’s A.plus? We’ll see… Tweetdeck is still my favorite dashboard. I can’t wait to see what the folks at Twitter do with it — and how the others try to adjust to the new paradigm.

Feature enhancements
We’ve witnessed a whole slew of feature enhancements including integrations of Facebook, LinkedIn, Foursquare and more into these dashboards. These will no doubt continue, while clear leaders emerge, acquisitions occur, and the remaining applications adapt and try to react to the new situations that are created.

Opportunities
I still think there are many opportunities for improvements to Dashboard products in the social media marketing and monitoring space.

Most dashboard products are overly complicated.  It’s not clear what kind of actions should be taken when you see a certain event has taken place. We need dashboards to be easier to navigate and understand, and to provide us with “Smart Recommendations” based on goals that you customize with your profile.

Many people still have a hard time just figuring out what to do with the basic twitter application. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve tried sharing Tweetdeck or something similar with someone new to social media —  and you can see their eyes glaze over and hear their inner monologue screaming “Why would I ever want to do this!”.

Because of this reaction — I think these current tools completely miss the large majority of the adoption curve. Until this is addressed and dashboard apps are built in a way that users don’t have too think much to use them, dashboard tools will be relegated to the early adopters and geeks.

For Many Twitter Apps The End is Near
Maybe the Rapture actually did come for a few well known Twitter related applications (or at least the beginning of the end). Whether they admit it or not, this move by Twitter is a shift in its attitude towards developers even though they are publicly saying they are committed to keeping the API environment open.

The strategy seems to be working well, and allows Twitter to take their pick of the 3rd-party Twitter applications like twitpic and others to round out their company.  This can be great if your 3rd-party application is the one that gets acquired, but not so good if it’s your competitor and now have to go against Twitter.

Some will have a Bright Future.
The addition of Twitter to Apple’s IOS5 for authentication is VERY significant, and an intriguing move in the chess match between Apple, Google, Facebook and Twitter. Could this really compete with Facebook Connect?

The recently announced iOS 5 will make it easier than ever to use your Apple devices. Sign in once in Settings, and you can tweet directly from Safari, Photos, Camera, YouTube, or Maps. Contacts will even adds your friends’ Twitter usernames and profile pictures. You can also add a location to any tweet, no matter which app you’re tweeting from. Don’t even get me started on iCloud (wow).

Fan boys and girls rejoice as the iPhone, and iPad prepare for Global domination. Maybe I’ll have another glass of Kool-Aid — I think this is going to get interesting…

How do you think Google, Android and Facebook will react?

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