Could Twitter become Community-Owned?

Over the last few days, I’ve been witness to a small glimmer of hope in the community. It’s the idea that Twitter could be community owned. Perhaps my blog post from many years ago could come true!

Twitter, as a public company that sells advertisements against user data is failing. At least, they’re failing Wall Street’s expectations and unfortunately, Twitter is compared to Facebook and Google and those two companies own the majority of online display-ads and their earnings are through the roof. Twitter is not doing as well and thus analysts are advising everyone to sell.

I think Twitter was never going to be like Facebook.

Twitter’s goal from the start was to be a service uses exclusively via SMS for anyone in the world with a mobile phone to connect with. You could tweet a thought, follow others and send them a private message. When you tweet, everyone following you gets a text message of your note. It was simple.

Twitter today is not very simple. Yet, instead of Twitter going the Facebook route and offering a clear divide between the products, Twitter is just this mess that has a high barrier of entry and is hard to pick up.

If every Twitter user was a paid account, there wouldn’t be any issue with the service working in its current form or how it used to work.

If Twitter was a paid service, it would stop growing but the spam bots would go away, the free-loading trolls would leave, the community would strengthen and Twitter could stop growing its head count trying to reinvent the wheel and focus on the core features of today and adding value to the current users. Twitter would stop being this wall street darling but it’d effectively exist forever.

I don’t think anyone could have foreseen this need back when the growth was massive but Twitter was always supposed to be community owned.