Twitter’s API updates and it’s direction that third party clients need to provide an experience more consistent with Twitter’s was inevitable for an ad supported network.
There’s a lot of missed opportunity for Twitter’s advertisers with so many users using 3rd party clients applications who don’t display Twitter’s ad products. Each application styling it’s own timeline would make the sizes and consistency of those products more complex and less effective.
If Facebook had a client ecosystem with a hugely inconsistent experience like this, which caused ads to be hidden from users, it would be facing the same problems.
These changes to Twitter might be disruptive to its developer ecosystem, but they were inevitable from the time the first tweet six years ago.
These API changes will last longer than just changing what exists right now. They might also set the foundation for any new advertising products Twitter invent and decides to show to users.
For a moment, never mind if you like Twitter more than App.net, but this is exactly what App.net was warning people about. The warning was to more than just developers unhappy with Twitter, is was to users too. It was warning them of exactly this.
That’s the whole point of App.net, it uses a business model that’s compatible with pursuing a user-centric focus, not an advertising based one. Just like Twitter’s advertising push was inevitable based on its model, App.net’s model of a subscription service whose revenue grows as it gets more users is the only one who six years from now could maintain putting users first.