Twitter can be better
ashita achuthan

Playlists are mainly XML or extensible markup language, where the 'secret sauce' is the algorithm. Algos have risen to supremacy coincident with big data.

The quietest trend this year was Google’s move toward Cards. It was an attempt to do an end run around FB which turned everything upside-down by figuring out how to monetize mobile; thus Google revolutionized its search protocol for the second time, this time with less fanfare- on the surface they did not want disruption. Originally Yahoo! was top-down architecture where they hired people to archive websites in an Aristotelian fashion (gena, familea, species so on) much like a computer hard drive is organized and then use variations on bubble sorts and the like to find what you wanted. Google was revolutionary for introducing the spiderbot concept, it would go out there and index what was, instead of an artificial construct applying logic or knowledge in an order on top of it. Their first revolution was followed by their evolution tweaking their algos, then Ruby on Rails which was a form of XML which webmasters could insert into their site’s index file to be better recognized by the Google spider.

What Cards does is to change the fundamental search element from a webpage to a Card, where a tweet can be a Card, a video, or just meta-data like the lyrics of a song.

RSS or real simple syndication was a form of XML which could be used by newsreaders. It lost popularity as a format when Google abandoned its newsreader, about the same time FB became so popular and there was talk of newspapers trying to fight back against news aggregators like HuffPo- they (Google) were also being sued in Europe involving their project to digitize all books; the optics mattered more than the outcome, the fine less than they make in an hour.

But RSS involves many of the same elements as Cards, an RSS feed is simply a bunch of what we now refer to as Cards, Google just changed the name for copyright purposes.

So, Twitter could just add in an XML feature where it turns itself into Spotify, and leverage its user base, to grow laterally instead of vertically (where vertical integration in this context is borrowed from the Robber Barron’s monopolistic efforts to control their supply chain) into music, search, AR, VR, gaming and messaging or VOIP phonecalls or group chat or even blogging. But I think there are good reasons why they haven’t.

First, Medium is the attempt to have a Twitter for blogging, but they are starting a trial run on a limited basis soon eschewing the 140 character limit. In VOIP and phone there are AT&T, Sprint, Apple, Google and Line. In music, Apple, Spotify, Pandora. Gaming, Apple, Sony, Nintendo, Microsoft.

But they have branched out into video, news, sports, with Periscope and Moments and the NFL contract. I don’t think they will, based on this, tread on anything with slim margins and a high bar for entry, where the entrenched players have nearly trillion dollar war chests when you figure in cash on hand, market cap and their ability to tap corporate bond markets. Not that Spotify or Pandora can, but Google, Apple and Microsoft and to a lesser extent FB.