Historically – it is written in its technology’s core philosophy – Twitter is a minimalist service. Everything from the design of twitter.com to the APIs inspires simplicity. This dedication to minimalism aims to reduce Twitter’s enormous user friction issue.
I have always thought that the company did a terrific job at staying in line with its core philosophy, and I always attributed its success to this tenacity. Earlier, I was reading a post on Twitterati about the load of new features one now finds on twitter.com. While I concur to the author’s excitement, the conclusion to his post made me cringe:
The obvious question to Twitter is what took so long to add some frills to twitter.com?
By knowing a little better, one understands that when launching a technology as novel as Twitter, the technology creators have to be extremely cautious about how users perceive it. The creators had to listen to the community and its suggestions, they had to list their own suggestions too, and out of this huge list of suggestions, they had to make choices, motivated by very specific factors. In a way, the developers’ community helped Twitter a great deal in figuring out what users wanted and didn’t want. By making the site more feature-rich, Twitter is acknowledging that its initial deployment strategy has failed to make Twitter a complete third-party dev-powered technology. The predicted end of an utopia?