Showing posts with label twitter. Show all posts
Showing posts with label twitter. Show all posts

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Twitter, Apple & The Most Profound Namespace Network Effect Since The Dawn Of Man

I've blogged about my feelings regarding the utterly dismal state of authentication on the network, and client-side, today. It's a pain we've all, sadly, just accept. It's also a pain that will soon, partially, go away on iOS devices, and could ultimately go away across the network at large. How you ask? Read on.


iOS Single Sign-On
Everyone's talking about the power of Twitter and Apple's native single sign-on model in iOS 5. While this is a phenomenal coup for both Twitter and Apple, it's only the tip of the iceberg. Having a widespread, networked, account namespace (Twitter) baked in at the operating system level is one of the few things that can truly revolutionize the network again. The splintered efforts on Android devices to accomplish this are well... splintered and therefore the network effect is hobbled; oh the power of owning the software, and the hardware. There is only one condition that has to be met, and it's a big one; though logical.

JavaScript navigator Object
I usually don't talk about client-side JavaScript object model modifications because they're mundane, typically small tweaks to existing functionality, and frankly just very rare. One of the more interesting, and only, ones in recent memory was navigator.geolocation which allows a web-page to consult the client/browser for geo-coding information in order to tailor the user's experience to their "current location." Extremely powerful.

Enter Twitter single sign-on, native JS user objects (e.g. navigator.user), and iOS Safari. I'd be surprised if iOS 5's Safari ships with this, but I believe it ultimately will deliver some incarnation of it. Imagine writing JavaScript that can determine whether or not the viewer is already logged into the client, and if so, access their username. Client-to-web single sign-on achieved! Never again will a web-app have to ask me for a username and password, just like iOS apps that leverage Twitter's namespace for single sign-on won't.

Precedent
While very large social networks have had client-side software installed for years (AOL Instant Messenger for example), and some experimentation around this model has occurred, this is the first time the mobile use case, a widely used social network, and a widespread browser have come together with single sign-on precedent being set across iOS apps natively. The next step is to bridge this into web-apps, and I believe Apple will make this leap with Safari, and that Twitter will gleefully be the namespace upon which it takes place.

Google has hinted at Chrome OS/Chrome Browser single sign-on native integration as evidenced by a checkin Lee Mathews noticed in Chrominium awhile ago. I wonder if iOS5 will push Android Chrome hard in this direction.

New World Order
Even without navigator.user, the native single-sign support between Twitter and Apple in iOS 5 is going to change usability forever more. I can't wait for it to trickle into the network and web-apps. We've needed this for 15 years and it's going to be awesome to watch this evolve over the next several.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Facebook vs. Twitter

I was having a conversation with someone the other day about Facebook vs. Twitter as "reach" platforms within the context of advertising. I was about to send this to them via email, but thought it might make for good blog fodder.

We were comparing how many people had become a fan of the FB "Coke" fan-page (1.4m), vs how many people had followed the TW "Coke" account (40k). My brain's been background processing this for a few days, and here's what's been bouncing around in there.
  • FB's been around longer (though I'd argue that doesn't account for the difference)
  • Becoming a fan in FB is a relatively passive operation when compared to following a user on TW. The cost to follow someone is high (their dope gets spewed into my stream). The cost of becoming a fan is low. Fan'ing is a passive statement, whereas following is more aggressive and intrusive.
  • In general, I view FB as the massive beast social network. Mark's, ironically, been genius about the sociological subtleties inherent in human behavior, and the product reflects that. While FB falters plenty, most of the functionality "just works" as you'd expect; without you even knowing it (whether or not we know it, or should, is a separate conversation). I view TW as less of a social network (oddly), and more as a literal communication medium.
  • Very few people "favorite" tweets, whereas lots of people "like" things in FB. For me this is because "favoriting" is a very strong statement when compared to "like'ing" something. I "like" things in real-life all day long, but calling something my "favorite" carries more weight, and I do it less as a result.
  • TW feels extremely public; it's like a PA system. FB feels quieter and more private (don't worry, I'm not deluding myself into thinking things I do on FB are private... I'm simply saying it "feels" more private).

Friday, March 27, 2009

Twitter: Niche Advertising That Actually Works

Advertising is all about getting information about a company/product/service in front of a demographically appropriate audience to tease them into spending money on said product/service.

When everyone used to spend most of their time in front of a live broadcast television, television ads were used to convey a product/service to general consumers. Then the internet and Tivo hit; destroying the Television ad market. Internet ads are all but useless now as well (Google will one day have to own up to the click-fraud reality that underpins its financials). So, I'm left adrift in a free-market economy without a way for advertisers to reach me. Bummer.

Twitter is changing this. The companies/products/services I care about have figured out how to get to me, via Twitter.

Twitter provides a broadcast system system that smart businesses are using to reach out to relevant people. I don't have to waste time consuming ads I don't care about. Instead I get to selectively choose which businesses I want to hear from when some new product/service/discount/sale becomes available. Finally, the consumer is in control, and the advertiser doesn't have to mess with subscription lists (email/snail-mail/phone numbers) to reach me. All I have to do is "follow"/listen to the "channels" I want, and if I end up not liking the company doing the advertising, I can turn them off.

Feels darn close to a perfect advertisement communication system to me.

For example, local companies I "follow" who tell me about real-time services they provide are listed below. They get advertisements in-front of me, when I want them, and I make real-time purchasing decisions as a result.
  • https://twitter.com/TeeandCakes (just bought doughnuts from there because they tweeted that they had arrived)
  • http://twitter.com/twospoonssoups (not eating there today because the soup I love isn't avail today)
  • http://twitter.com/spudbros
  • http://twitter.com/larkburger (they're not in my daily walk/flow, but now I get good reminders of them and can decide to head over there when in the mood)
More advertisements via Twitter/broadcast please.

Friday, May 9, 2008

It's all in the timing.

Some good friends of mine started a company called Summize a couple years or so ago. It's comprised of a few of the top search/math/algorithm brains on planet Earth. I'd argue they have the highest ratio of search genius to employee count. Anyway, their initial, technically sound, product which does/did sentiment analysis (better than anything you've ever used) for products on the web, has/had been moving on at a decent, but not radical pace, for awhile now. What's funny is that when they applied a relatively tiny fraction of their brains (think weekend project) to something with buzz, Twitter, they're all the rage. Checkout their Twitter search API, and their recent mention on Read Write Web. A total testament to market timing. Way to go guys!