Consume within or anywhere?

One of the things that I find myself doing is that I tend to connect things. I tend to see how different things tie in together to reflect something bigger. In doing so, I identified and wrote about trends I see in various things like search and calendars services.

I tweeted this to Mark Suster today.

This got me thinking about how Twitter lets us embed tweets anywhere for consumption.

I have been thinking about where consumption happens. Not what, not how, but where we consume. For instance, Facebook does not let us consume any of its content without having logged in. Neither does Snapchat. Same cannot be said for Twitter. I can be a passive consumer without technically being a “user” and still consume tweets. New apps that have created some buzz like Anchor and Talkshow also allow for passive consumption. Medium also lets us read articles without even creating an account on the platform.

Facebook and Snapchat are clearly the most successful platforms out there. Both require people to consume within their ecosystems. Both are willing to enforce their rules onto their users. Twitter has struggled in increasing and retaining its user base. Medium is still small too. These platforms allow us to consume outside their ecosystems. They provide a frictionless consumption experience.

This makes me wonder what strategy is better. Of course, there are a ton of moving parts here. And, I am not implying that having a “walled garden” like that of Facebook is a guaranteed road to success. Youtube does not require us to have an account for consumption. I am not even sure if what I am talking about plays even a small role in the growth of these platforms. Having an account surely facilitates personalization of user experience.

But is a walled garden the best way to go for longterm and for creation of distribution monopoly?

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