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Twitter Executives Are Like Louis CK's Whiny Air Travelers

There's been a lot of news in the past week about Twitter planning to introduce "algorithm enhancements" to Twitter feeds, and how users are furious over this, complaining it's one more example of Twitter trying to be like Facebook. It's Twitter management's ongoing struggle to ruin what makes Twitter unique and special in order to no doubt appease Twitter shareholders and advertisers by making the service behave more like Facebook, in the process hopefully boosting Twitter's revenue and market value.

This reminds me of this great Louis CK moment on the Conan O'Brien show:

Dear Twitter management: your company has created a magnificent tool for the people of the WORLD. There are HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS of people (okay, subtract all the bots, but still) who use and enjoy your service, and find out all kinds of things in near real time, almost always beating out TV and news media. Also, it's a great way to follow the thoughts and observations of people whose thoughts and observations you find interesting. Here we are in 2016 and this amazing service exists and ALL THESE MILLIONS OF PEOPLE use it ALL OVER THE WORLD, it is truly a marvel of TECHNOLOGY, as Louis CK has argued with airplanes, which, after all, enable you to SIT IN A CHAIR IN THE SKY.

So why is it, Twitter, that you have to fuck that up? Why ruin it? Twitter users love Twitter largely because IT. IS. NOT. FACEBOOK. It is different. It is special. It is a completely different thing. And yet you seem determined to ruin that which makes it special. Why? Because your board is pressuring you to? Your institutional investors? Your big billionaire investors, looking for a return on their pre-IPO investment?

How many of these bigshot investors use the system every day? How many of them appreciate how GREAT the service is, as-is? The more you tweak it, the more you try to make it like that other thing, the less value it is. Why do that? Would it be so wrong to just say enough is enough, and appreciate that even one percent growth a year is wonderful? What is wrong with three hundred million users? It is a PHENOMENON! A miracle of technology. You should be so incredibly proud. Why ruin that? Why cave to this absurd pressure to double that size, or triple, or more? Who cares?

It's a times like these I wish Twitter had never gone public, and had kept its staff small. Find modest ways to monetize the business, sure, no harm in that. What's wrong with say ONE BILLION DOLLARS A YEAR in revenue? Does it have to be two? Ten? One hundred? Couldn't you just keep the employee count to a few hundred people, and operate it indefinitely at a reasonable burn rate? Why does it need 3000 employees?

I'd love to see Twitter's management wake up and get a clue about what's important and unique about the service, and stop trying to change it. Your users don't want it changed. Or, change it in meaningful ways that benefit users. It boggles my mind that Twitter has such little vision and imagination and is incapable of striking the right balance between innovation, monetization, and maintaining a happy user community.

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