Screwing Your Vocal Minority – 500ish Words:

All of this is to say, it’s fucking insane that Twitter has killed their native Mac client not once, but twice. I don’t care if it only had a hundred thousand users, a thousand users, or a hundred users, it’s the abandonment of those users that’s insane for the reasons listed above. Yes, every company needs focus and even the biggest companies need to allocate resources in appropriate ways. Again, what I’d argue is that this is an appropriate way. Maybe the most appropriate way, in many ways, data be damned.

And so if the above is fucking insane, making the above decision and then making the decision to severely neuter the third-party apps that were filling in the holes you dug is absolutely mega ultra batshit fucking insane. The fact that so many third-parties were filling these holes should say enough — they’re not just doing this for fun, they’re doing it because there are holes to be filled. What Twitter is saying, explicably — yet inexplicably from the 10,000 foot view — is that they like holes. They really, really just enjoy having holes in their product. And if you’re a user who doesn’t like to use products with holes? Well, you can use — nope, actually, you can’t.⁵ And also, if you happen to be amongst our most loyal and passionate users, fuck you.

This is odd commentary though from a VC. I’m guessing MG is wearing his Twitter user hat in this post but he himself completely understands what Twitter is doing. He himself has probably sat at board meetings or consulting meetings and uttered “don’t cater to the vocal minority.” Progress requires you ignore the power users who will never be happy, block your ads anyway and use 3rd party applications you have no control over. Twitter is just copying the Facebook model. 80% of your users are mobile and those that aren’t use your website where all of the features are present without waiting on a 3rd party to integrate them or for your mobile team to build that new feature that was on the desktop first. 

Twitter doesn’t care about 200K Mac users on your 1st party application or an additional 150K using a dozen or so Macintosh Twitter clients. It’s a drop in the bucket. This is progress for Twitter. This is the future. They’re looking at Facebook wondering why they’re spending so much time supporting 3rd party clients and the Mac when Mobile and Web are the majority of their customers. 

Deep down though, I hope the vocal minority moves on to a new network. Pownce and Jaiku failed but that doesn’t mean the next one doesn’t have to. We almost had it with Micro.Blog and App.Net. Maybe we can finally get it right this time?