Twitter’s relationship with the media: It’s complicated…
As Twitter continues to expand its control over the content that runs through its network, even as it forms partnerships with large TV networks like NBC, media entities of all kinds are going to have to ask whether their reliance on the service is wise.
Originally posted on Gigaom:
Although it has only been a mainstream social network for a few short years, Twitter has formed a surprisingly tight and symbiotic relationship with the media, both because it is a kind of real-time newswire for information about events like the Arab Spring and the upcoming U.S. election, and also because it gives journalists an easy way to extend their personal brands into the social web. The company’s moves to lock down its network and control more of the content have raised some hackles in the journalism community, however, even as Twitter expands on its partnerships with select media entities such as NBC and MTV — and those stress points are only going to increase as the company’s ambitions and desire for revenue continue to grow.
A recent blog post from the Knight Center for Journalism at the University of Texas does a pretty good job of summarizing why some journalists and media executives might be uneasy about their relationship with Twitter and how they have come to rely on the network. Among other things, the post mentions the restrictions that the company recently announced on its API, which primarily affect third-party developers and apps — but could also wind up penalizing newspapers and other media outlets that have built their own features or services around Twitter using the same API. As the Knight Center post describes it:
“Recent changes to Twitter’s application programming interface (API) rattled some critics concerned about how journalists will use the popular social media platform to cover news in the future [and] beyond the recent API announcement, Twitter has seen a progression of censorship as the company matures that may threaten its credibility as a news source.”