Hats off to Chris Sacca for ‘Bleeding Blue’ and his incredible note on What Twitter Can Be. It’s a long read but at the end of it, it triggered my grey cells. Following which I have put together a small note on What Twitter Can Be for India [and other non-English / mobile first Countries]
- Welcome to Twitter : Really ?
Let’s dig a little deeper into why we use Twitter today. For News, Information, Words from the Horse’s Mouth, etc, etc and yes FEW of us actively Voice ourselves in 140 characters. Most of the aam janta is just actively reading or more precisely, ‘Consuming Information From Reliable Sources’. Cool isn’t it?
Now with a not so mature “App” consumer on this side of the globe, what happens when She/He opens App & Browser for the first time?
The point: If I’m coming to ‘just consume’, Why Do I Sign Up? Why can’t Twitter show me a curated feed and going further I could just follow/un-follow Twitter accounts to self curate my feed? Ofcourse, Twitter can restrict me to Reply, Re-Tweet or Fav tweets and prompt me to create an account every time I want to use a feature.
Here’s the catch: Human beings by nature can seldom be silent spectators. We always have an opinion and the day someone isn’t able to overcome that urge, Twitter will have a Registered User.
- Why Email?
We are a mobile country. No, I’m not asking to do away with the desktop version 🙂 Today, we have more mobile numbers than we have active email ids. Why not allow users to sign in using their mobile numbers? I’m really keen to get an insight or a counter argument on why users can’t sign in by simply using their mobile numbers.
Leaving out a few celebrities, mostly all the Twitter accounts are managed. We know it isn’t Her/Him in that text.
Just imagine, you hear Barack Obama or our very own NaMo or Big B in a 30 sec clip. Isn’t that more powerful and more personalized? A lot more can be said in 30 sec then in 140 characters. Ya ya, you can record on Soundcloud and then upload here… etc, etc. But to be far more usable, the functionality needs to be available within Twitter itself.
Acquisition of Periscope is a step towards Personalization and a good move by Twitter. Two things come to my mind when I think a little more on Periscope
- Twitter needs to seamlessly integrate it, anyone should be able to open twitter and either write something or record something or both. Like we currently do with images.
- Periscope works well for Live Events. In normal circumstances. when users share a pic or video, they are too conscious about how they look and they’ll surely undergo couple of takes to get the right LOOK. Now imagine a Celebrity, I don’t see her/him doing a video/image often, as it means that she/he needs to look PERFECT with the makeup on and in best of clothes. It’s strenuous.
Twitter should look at Voice Broadcasting. With Voice you are good to go any time.
This isn’t just about about India, but applicable across the globe. Today my feeds are in English and if I’m following Shinzo Abe or Xi Jinping, I see gibberish. To comprehend the message, I need to take one more step and press the translation icon.
Why can’t my feed just show me a translated version along with the original, if my consumption preference is English? If I have added Japanese/Chinese as my alternate consumption languages, Twitter need not bother. If every time one has to press to translate, there is a high probability that most of us will ignore and proceed.
As we know, the circulation of regional language dailies in India is far more than English, so why not display feeds for her/him in the preferred Language?
Bottom Line: Twitter was made for desktops and with consumption moving to Mobile, Twitter needs to adapt and Adapt fast.
If you like Kinnari’s ideas, read her Open Letter to Uber!