Rumors have begun to circulate that Twitter is preparing to add video Tweets to the service, much to the chagrin, we’re sure, of some of the third-party developers who work with the site.
If you’re the darling of the social media world, and you have a valuation that pegs your company as being worth $1 billion USD, what’s the best thing to do? Annoy your development community by consistently making them obsolete.
Twitter has long had a popular API (application programming interface) which allows developers to build a great number of tools to work with the site. One of the most popular style of tools is the kind that allows people to post pictures and videos to Twitter by uploading them to a third-party site, and then a message is sent via your Twitter account that gives your followers a link to view it. This has been done with some success for video by the sites Twideo and Tweetube, and the number of photo sites seems endless, but Twitpic seems to be the undisputed champion.
According to The Daily Telegraph, Twitter’s founders are looking at the possibility of adding video support to the site that would effectively make any third-party video sites meaningless as it would be far easier for users to just use the built-in functionality.
This isn’t the first time that the people behind Twitter have co-opted an idea from developers using its API. The company previously bought Summize instead of working on its own search, and recently significant changes were made to the way ReTweets — the act of one Twitter user sharing another user’s messages — work after users and developers had already worked out an effective method for them.
As Steven Hodson over at The Inquisitr rightly says:
Developing for the Twitter platform is becoming a highly questionable venture as you never know if Twitter is suddenly going to take an interest in whatever niche of the Twittersphere you are trying to work in. But be assured if they do and they decide to go it alone you might as well fold up shop.
It makes you wonder if anyone should even bother any more.