As some of you already know, I am LONG twitter and feel that it has just started to just scratch the surface of what is possible. Recently twitter announced a slew of new features including
- Spaces : Clubhouse competitor
- Subscriptions: Subscribe for
- Exclusive tweets / content
In January twitter also acquired revue, a newsletter company to let twitter users start newsletters
They also announced that they are reopening “Verification” in early 2021 and users would be able to request for it
Where is it going
I beleive twitter is unleashing the beast with the power of its platform and could eventually go into Identity and Social capital management. Here are some of my early thoughts
Twitter as Identity Management
Once twitter starts mass verifying users, it would become perhaps one of the largest consumer facing identity management platform in the world. It would be bigger than many governments and will come with added social capital.
When someone says they are verified, you not only know who they are, but can also go and check out their profile.
There is a massive need for user identity verification especially in situations involving people to people contact. Eg Uber users in brazil need to validate via CPF(national ID ) if they want to pay via cash. This helps them establish trust. Think about using twitter globally
Other user cases could be
- Is the person sending me the email the same as they claim to be
- Is the person bidding for my furniture real
A lot of startups bootstrap on twitter network( Eg: Substack), imagine what could be done with high trust authentication.
Twitter as Social Capital Management
Whenever any influencer or content creator opens up another channel (Eg a new newsletter, a youtube channel, a blog) they end up recreating the entire network again. The need to gain the trust of not just the followers but also the platform.
While there surely are massive advantages of existing audience which follows the creator, there is always a huge leakage and the creator is subject to very different rules on each.
Eg: Even if you are extremely popular on twitter, you cannot take that social capital to say a mailchimp to send your newsletter. You need to “warm up” the system, hope your audience opens it, prey that spam filters don’t flag you, and if you have a shared IP hope all other providers are not doing something shady.
Mailchimp has no context of who you are or how you built your audience. There is no social capital associated with you.
But with twitter this could change. Twitter could use your social capital of one platform (say twitter) to jump start you on another (eg newsletter). It can use your social capital for more than just growth hack.
Will it matter to small time creators
While small social capital on one mode of communication may not matter to people, a multi modal platform may matter in aggregate.
The biggest advantage of this is that as people start deriving more value from the system, the incentive for bad behaviour becomes less You also become super cautious if you verify at any place using twitter because you don’t want to mess with your social credit.
Gotchas to watch out for
It needs to be debated if it would be wise for a single private party to wield such power. Would your twitter identity become more important than your local identity?
Some interesting ideas I think twitter would / should do
- More control on tweet embedding: Let me generate a id that any media agency that wants to embed my tweet needs. I can then charge for my tweets
- Transfer tweet ownership: Currently if your tweet becomes popular, people reach out to you to add their product / business as a reply. This helps people make some money. It would be interesting to see if I could just pass on the tweet ownership to someone else and they would be free to add any reply to the main thread
- NFT: While some startups are attempting this. Every tweet could be an NFT and that can drive the tweet embedding and ownership ideas as well.
- Tweet Ads: Every time a tweet is embedded on an external site, twitter could show and ad and share revenue with the tweeter directly
- Mail client: While twitter knows about the social capital, it still is hindered by the spam rules of other mail client providers. I suspect they may start their own
- Influencer Management / Tracking / smart contracts: Imagine you hire an influencer for reaching X million audience. The entire deal is done on twitter where twitter is responsible for measurement of success (which they already do). As soon as the success criteria is met, the influencer is paid . This operation could be controlled via ethereum smart contracts. This makes the entire system seamless and painless
You may have noticed I did not talk about tweet edits. Read why I don’t think twitter would ever, or should ever allow tweet edits