I love Twitter. I use it almost daily. I have the Android app installed to my Moto Droid. I follow friends and loved ones on it. I keep them up to date when things happen, even if I am just stating my boredom. I also use it as a means to share updates to all of my blogs, including this one. There are so many wonderful things Twitter can do for you. Most people don’t even realize it because they are still tied down to their desktops and laptops using Facebook, or even the outdated MySpace. Twitter has a lot more functionality than to just post random comments via SMS or a fancy app from the desktop and Smartphones. Unfortunately, these functions are third party additions, and most people don’t know what they are or how to use them.
First is URL shortening services. It seems that a LOT of websites are incorporating a built in URL shortening service to work with either SMS’s or Twitter directly. The Android Twitter app has two built in, bit.ly and TinyURL. These services are generally seen as the most popular and reliable of the services. However, you will see Facebook has a feature, along with MySpace, to help give recognition when users are tweeting something from their sites.
Sharing video’s on Twitter can be done via such services as YouTube, which has it’s own shortened URL. TwitVid is a service to let you upload and tweet videos, much like YouTube, however there is no dedicated uploader for Droid, yet. There are some third party apps that you can use for it, though. Mashable has a good article on five services you can use to do this.
So what am I getting at here? Well, I feel Twitter needs to get away from using third party services to give users the experience they desire. Honestly, it is about time that Twitter integrates a photo and video sharing service, and creates it’s own URL shortening service. Perhaps they could buy up companies like TwitPic and TwitVid directly, and creating the URL shortening service wouldn’t be hard at all, and call it TwitURL.
Social Networks like Facebook are taking away the full potential of what Twitter can become. It should no longer just be some “micro-blogging” service, and open itself up to be recognized as a full fledged social network. As it is, it feels more like an add-on service to Facebook, MySpace, and other websites that want to allow people to share content. Stop being the Gateway to experiences, and become the experience.