Let’s face it, Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter are media companies. The major TV networks were cutting edge once until the technology became ubiquitous. Now they are old, boring media companies. This day is rapidly approaching for social networks.
Stratchery and others have commented on how FB biases everything towards what your friends think, creating a myopic world view. To win, Twitter doesn’t have to be more open. It can be “fair & balanced” because you know, Fox News’s money is the same color as NBC’s. Don’t be literal though. I’m not saying Twitter should go crazy conservative to counterbalance’s FB’s left-leaning “journalism” (though I think being the more irreverent media company to counterbalance FB’s staid Lady Grey approach would be smart). It’s more that Twitter can win by just accepting itself as a media company. FB sponsored stories make it clear that FB has known this for awhile.
Evidence that Twitter understands itself as a media company is thankfully emerging. They secured the rights to broadcast NFL football games this fall. This seems like a critical move for their future and it’s hard to understand why it didn’t get more airtime. Media companies in particular still love Twitter (journalists want to be heard!) despite what the stock market says. So, I say it’s about time Twitter took that Fox News’ swag and embraced being the stuff your in-laws veg out to.