TechCrunch's been airing Twitter's (not so) dirty laundry all week. Courtesy of a hacker, TechCrunch has gotten hold of 300 confidential Twitter documents, and yesterday they released notes from a set of executive meetings that laid out the company's upcoming strategy plans.
What did we learn? That Twitter is scared of Facebook. As it should be.
This isn't very surprising, but it is interesting that Twitter has spent time strategizing about how to fend off the social network. The microblogging company resisted Facebook's efforts to purchase it last year, and now we've learned that Twitter execs think the “Facebook sell always seemed wrong” and it would have been "a disappointing outcome."
In a note titled "How Could Facebook Kill Us," Twitterers laid out ways that Facebook could bury the microblogging service. And the social network has already checked off a good number of the items, including:
- Opt-in to make status public
- Twitter functionality
- FB Login
Facebook is clearly honing in on Twitter's territory with its new public status options. And if its users start updating Facebook instead of Twitter with their microthoughts, it could severely hobble Twitter's marketshare.
But Twitter has some defenses built up to fend them off. Namely, they want to be a cult. Well, that's the second item on the list. First, they want to “make sure people are happy.” And while that may seem a little warm and fuzzy for a business strategy, it makes some sense.
There's nothing particularly proprietary about Twitter's concept. Microblogging could easily be usurped by a newcomer into the space. Or more likely — by an established brand that subsumes a Twitter feature into its online strategy.
By keeping customers happy and continuing to connect the concept of microblogging to the Twitter brand, Twitter can keep its dominance of the space.
Right now, they're also benefitting from Facebook's diverse business goals. Users on Facebook don't go to the site expressly looking to share their thoughts.
The problem is that people can also use both services for the same purpose, or link their entries to both.
If someone (say, Google) comes along and aggregates all of the social media functions into one bucket, that could take both brands out of the microblogging equation almost entirely.
Two of the slides follow here. More at TechCrunch.
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