Arming Advertisers vs. Users: Social Media Platforms at Odds`

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Summary:

Twitter and App.net both made headlines recently by taking completely different approaches to reach the same goal - dominance in the world of social media.

It was announced earlier this week that microblogging giant Twitter has acquired the intellectual property of Clutch.io, a San Francisco app testing firm. With the deals of the term not being disclosed at this time, and knowing only that the company acquired Clutch.io’s team and IP, there’s little information as to what interest Twitter had in making this purchase.

Earlier this year, Twitter acquired two other startups with equal lack of information regarding the exact nature of the deals. In April, it acquired personalized email marketer RestEngine, and in January, Twitter took in Summify. The combination of these two companies enabled Twitter to create attractive emails loaded with individualized tweet digests for its users.

In all three of these acquisitions, Twitter gained not just the abilities of these companies, but also their valuable staff who developed these ideas in the first place.

In a recent blog post, Clutch.io’s founders address the expected worries of their own clients:

We’re happy to announce that over the coming weeks we will make available everything you need to run Clutch.io on your own servers, so that even after our hosted service is no longer running, you can continue to operate it on your own… Also remember that all of our libraries are designed to fail gracefully when the service cannot be reached, so your users will never notice a thing.

At the same time, Clutch.io says that while its mission previously was “to help mobile developers iterate fast and grow their user base,” from here on out you can expect them “to focus our efforts on Twitter’s product at a large scale.”

Alongside Twitter’s continued growth, rival App.net made its own headlines by recently announcing that it had reached a crowd-funding goal of $500,000 two days earlier than anticipated. While still relatively new to the social media game, App.net has made it clear through the statements of founder, Dalton Caldwell, that it’s not the same as powerhouses like Twitter and Facebook:

We're building a real-time social service where users and developers come first, not advertisers … We believe that advertising-supported social services are so consistently and inextricably at odds with the interests of users and developers that something must be done. Help us create the service we all wish existed.

We don’t know exactly what Twitter’s intentions are with Clutch.io but, as speculation exists that it’s to offer enticing features for advertisers and not users, the differences between David and Goliath may be expanding day by day.

About the author

Noel Wurst's picture Noel Wurst

Noel Wurst has written for numerous blogs, websites, newspapers, and magazines, and has presented educational conference sessions for those looking to become better writers. In his spare time, Noel can be found spending time with his wife and two sons—and tending to the food on his Big Green Egg. Noel eagerly looks forward to technology's future, while refusing to let go of the relics of the past.

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