[Predictions] On the Future of Twitter: Following Posterous, Summify Acquisitions

On March 12, 2012 micro-blogging service Twitter announced via it’s blog that it had acquired Posterous. Posterous, a Y Combinator graduate, innovated blogging platforms being one of the first to allow direct from email publishing of text, images, video and more.

The Twitter buy is reported to be heavily talent-based. As Twitter’s official announcement puts it, “Posterous engineers, product managers and others will join our teams working on several key initiatives that will make Twitter even better.”

While the acquisition likely has the 15 million Posterous users plotting a move to another platform (perhaps to the 110/120 million strong competitor, Tumblr), it – along with other recent Twitter acquisitions – has me asking, what’s next for Twitter?

Behold the Future of Twitter

Writing for Forbes, writer and business strategist Lim Yung-Hui paints one possible development for Twitter in Twitter Going Beyond 140 Characters with Posterous Acquisition.  Yung-Hui points toward the use of the Posterous Spaces concept as a potential content curation idea for Twitter.

With Posterous Spaces, for example, Twitter users can favorite and pininteresting tweets. Social contents curation is hot. Think Pinterest. Spaces feature can also offer group tweeting within a private environment on Twitter. This and many other possibilities abound.

Yung-hui isn’t alone in considering this possibility for Twitter, either.

Let there be Curation

On January  19, 2012 Twitter made another acquisition. Summify is (for now still) a service that sends subscribers a daily digest of (more or less) the most ‘shared’ links among the people the subscriber follows on Twitter. So, even if I’m not ON Twitter to check ‘the latest’ happenings that day I will get an email that shares with me the most celebrated and shared news among my friends for that day.

Over at the blog Techerator, Chitraparna Sinha, web content developer, full time blogger and an academic researcher proposes her own thoughts on product/service design enhancements for Twitter.

Perhaps Twitter acquired Posterous to build a unique news sharing platform with the help of its new #Discover tab. Won’t it be wonderful if Twitter users can use the #Discover tab to “discover” informative and unique blog content from their Twitter follower list?

Having the team, the talent and the blueprints now to both Summify and Posterous, Twitter should be introducing interesting product/service design developments in the months to come. And, they may be giving users a few interesting changes to rally-behind or decry as the worst possible development as well.

It’s pure speculation, but I can picture a future where content curation components support the engagement and promotion potential for (especially) brand pages and  general users alike. Discovery (and the associated tab) were thought to be part of Twitter’s newish identity when it unveiled design changes last year. Extending that portion of the platform could be something to watch for.

The ‘gathering’ of shared content (think Pinterest, Scoopit) could become a native element within the Twitter experience. Couldn’t it? (Consider the popularity of News.Me, Paper.li, among others).

Additionally, the ability to auto-post in many places is something that has made Posterous really innovative. And while many of the features that once where innovative are now integrated in most sites, Twitter could extend the reach of it’s users’ tweets by making them more transmittable.

We’ll have to wait and see just what the future does provide, but with fresh talent and pressure to perform, Twitter should have an interesting year.  Of course, one man thinks he already has the future of Twitter figured out. I’ll let him explain. (Thanks for reading. And, take care!)

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Google Makes 50 Changes to Search, Pinterest Leaps to 3rd Among Networks and Consumer Privacy Debates Continue: News Summary

Internet news for the week of April 1 – 7, 2012

Google made 50 changes to how its search engine ranks and scores websites recently. Some noteworthy changes include anchor text changes, better indexing of Google Profile pages and freshness improvements as Phil Buckley at 1918 points out. Notably Google spent the week in the press with the public debut of Google glasses. The sci-fi augmented-reality glasses, aka Project Glass are a reality that have some already speculating about the brave new world the glasses represent.

Google: Project Glass +

Google co-founder Sergey Brin sports augmented reality glasses at a charity event yesterday. (Credit: Thomas Hawk)

It is fateful news as Google attempts to maintain both – high credibility in the public eye AND its advertising empire (an empire that brought in an estimated 35 billion compared to Facebook’s 3.7 billion in 2011 ad revenue). The increasingly ‘social network’ influenced changes to its search algorithm (including most recently and notably – Search plus Your World) have, however, had some – even brand faithfuls – sharpening their proverbial pitchforks. Lately, some technologists have been asking if the search giant is or will be violating it’s ‘don’t be evil’ motto as it seeks to protect its future against consumer data advantages it may be losing to Facebook. (Note: this debate has been going on for quite some time. It’s a tough motto to keep).

You can see a demo video of Google glasses here.

Pinterest Joins Facebook and Twitter

Photo curation site Pinterest has been in the news lately as comScore puts the network in 3rd place (in amount of traffic) behind Facebook and Twitter, surpassing LinkedIn and Google Plus. Spin-offs of the hugely popular site continue to arrive in droves (much like daily deal sites did in the wake of GroupOn and LivingSocial). Pinterest did make noteworthy profile design changes recently, and continues to be a hit in the predominately female market.

Consumer Data & Internet Privacy Debates

The Wall St. Journal's interactive graph highlights 100 popular Facebook apps and the personal information they track

Interesting debates around the Selling of You (i.e. Consumer Data) continue to emerge. Even former funnyman turned US Senator Al Franken has gotten involved having brought to surface popular concerns with Internet privacy among social networks and search engines. Search engine expert, and Chief Editor of Search Engine Land, Danny Sullivan however – says, not so quick Mr. Franken.

In a Debunking of Al Franken *sharp* rebuttal, Mr. Sullivan points out various issues with the Senator’s arguments (comparing credit card companies, retail stores and other ‘offline’ entities that not only gather and leverage hords of data about consumers, but that also provide consumers with no way of erasing data the way the search engines and social networks do). All said and done, both men seems to agree that privacy on the Internet, among other related issues, still needs to be monitored and addressed with judicious and economic acumen.

More News from April 1 – 7 (or thereabouts):

A Trio of Toyota NCAA Basketball Commercials: Pure Madness

Spring is an interesting time of year, for sure. Early March, for the past few years, has really brought a lot of excitement to my days thanks to the interactive portion of SXSW and, of course, March Madness.

One of the more enjoyable spring advertising campaigns to watch, for me, has been the Men’s NCAA Basketball infused Toyota commercials. If you haven’t seen the videos I’ve provided the trio below. They aren’t really anything beyond a typical big-budget, humor-tapped offering, but the use of March Madness and the excellent casting has me putting this campaign into my final four for the season.

Toyota has really dialed into the ‘recruiter’ with their series of Coach T commercials. The marketing and public relations strategy is a bright one.

Driver’s Test: Toyota Videos Smack the Funny Bone 

Using seasonal topics to further enhance your organization’s message is smart. If you’re marketing online it’s not a bad idea to use seasonality (or a holiday spin) to further enhance your message appeal.

Use Seasonality in Marketing and Advertising to Increase Message Relevance

Because most people tend to have the topic de jour on their minds, deploying a seasonal approach can make your marketing message all the more enjoyable to consider.

The Pitch: Toyota’s Coach T Commercials Provide Timely Appeal

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