Twitter, the product

A lot has changed since the early days of Twitter as a company over the last 8 years. From a little company in South Park to a company with thousands of employees globally. 

Last week I was talking to someone who was critical about Twitter, the product (not the company). She asked why Twitter hasn’t innovated and how I felt about the company. 

I made it clear that I’m extremely biased emotionally about the company and our firm and my wife and I are shareholders. 

But I reject this idea that Twitter as a product hasn’t innovated over the years. 

Think back to the early version of Twitter that got me hooked and there are countless ways that Twitter has improved: mobile apps, search, conversations, photographs, analytics, native advertising, recommendations, Discover, retweets, hashtags, location/geotagging, Amplify, Twitter cards, as well as countless ways the product has been made easier to use. Plus Twitter has also made important acquisitions like Vine and others. 

But here is the important thing about all of that product goodness — it didn’t come at a cost that breaks the magic of Twitter. 

Contrast it to other products that continue to get bloated and heavy with clunky features. The posterchild is Microsoft Office but they are hardly the only ones. Actually most mature products (and early stage ones too) fall into this time honored trap. 

One of things I admire most about Twitter, the product is their discipline to add new things while keeping things remarkably simple. Simple & magical enough to inform, entertain, connect and delight hundreds of millions of people. 

So that is the long version. The short version is I love Twitter and I’m excited about its future.