Big, important voices have been saying that Twitter is in trouble and needs to change. The platform has been slow to fence in trolls and the more nasty segments of the online community. Chris Sacca, an early round investor and still an investor in the company, was concerned by executive management changes. (Dick Costolo out, Jack Dorsey returns.) Farhad Majoo of The New York Times ran a story that covered what Sacca wrote, and focused on one of his recommendations: Twitter has to be better at live events and news. Its acquisition of Periscope points in that direction.
Twitter is my go-to news source, and I would welcome a focus on live events. But I also like Twitter for its openness. It is practically the last open network. Anybody can talk to anybody. Twitter doesn’t interfere with what I see, as Facebook does when it manipulates your newsfeed.
I hope that openness stays, and I hope Twitter survives. As a channel without a ‘purpose’ like dating (Snapchat) or staying in touch (Slack and supposedly, Facebook) it suffers under Wall Street scrutiny, because it is a public company and is expected to grow more users and get more profits. There are expectations about things like having a direction and mission. Yes. Okay. But paper doesn’t have a mission. A pen doesn’t. But you can do a lot of things with those tools, just as you can with Twitter. Sure, Twitter has to get real. I just hope it can remain interesting, vital, and slightly strange.