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With Expanded Tweets Is Twitter Claiming It’s Own Little Walled Garden?

Posted by Adam Broitman on June 18th, 2012 at 6:58 am

“He will not go behind his father's saying,

And he likes having thought of it so well

He says again, 'Good fences make good neighbors.”

Mending Wall, Robert Frost

What’s in a tweet? For one thing, a whole lot more than before. Gone are the days of the free flowing, largely mobile conversations driven by “the tweet”. We have entered a new Tw-era (Twitter fanboys/girls love to make up words, I am simply playing to the target audience). In the same way that Google is no longer purely a technology company with the sole purpose of helping people find information, Twitter is no longer a technology company that solely powers conversations fueled by brevity.

Twitter is now a full fledged media company. Whether Twitter admits it or not and whether traditional media companies like it or not, the addition of expanded tweets have made Twitter more of a force in the media ecosystem than ever before.

One might pose the question, “are expanded tweets a threat to publishers and brands or are they a simply an effective promotional vehicle?” I would say the answer to both questions is "yes". Whatever your opinion, if you are a brand or publisher and you have an audience on Twitter (which is likely the case) you have no choice but to be active on the microblogging platform—and if you are going to be successful you better learn the new rules of engagement.

An interesting question for media professionals to ponder is, now that Twitter has greater distribution capacity than many major media companies, are they powerful enough to create content their own content and have it prosper? This is not a likely scenario for a tech company, but the kingdom of distribution is one that traditional content creators have not managed to acquire. Therefore, in an age in which the king (content) is only as powerful as his kingdom (distribution) can a company like Twitter acquire kingly assets of it’s own?

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