You may have seen the news today that the US anti-trust regulator is making Twitter inquiries. I really hope the world’s favourite short messaging service is exonerated because to me this is crazy. I’m a believer in appropriate regulation and I think anti-trust laws have an important part to play in controlling company behaviour, but their purpose is to prevent abuse of dominant market positions and I don’t think a company should be classed as dominant until it is much bigger in revenue terms than Twitter’s estimated $150m this year, and is making significant profits.
Seeking to regulate behaviour before that point will undermine the search for a scalable and profitable business model which isn’t good for the company itself, ecosystem partners or innovation in general.
I’m not defending Twitter’s behaviour in the spat with Ubermedia or how they have treated their other ecosystem partners, that is not the point here. The important thing is that many people love Twitter (now running at 200m Tweets per day) and that the company be given the best chance possible to find a way to scale revenues and generate profits so it can keep the service alive and growing.
This may seem a little harsh on developers in the Twitter ecosystem, but as mentioned above, ultimately they need Twitter to be successful, and in addition, one would hope that they took the time to understood the risks of building on top of a commercially unstable platform before they became a Twitter partner.