Why Twitter Does Not Need Media Integration

I read a very interesting post written by Zee on The Next Web about Twitter adding media services. I found the entire article pretty interesting, however, I did not entirely agree with his statements there.

Of course, I wanted to write my thoughts as a comment on his post, but I really don’t comment on sites which require users to create an account for their websites. I feel it’s a good thing to exercise my thoughts out without having to go through the pains of getting it through.

So here are my thoughts (in more words) on why does not really require any media integration.

Twitter is not Facebook

Twitter is not , it is Twitter. The difference between Facebook and Twitter is simplicity. Facebook is so complicated, it requires users to get through the loops of learning how to upload pictures, upload videos and more. Twitter on the other hand was about “What are you doing” and now about “What’s happening?”

The reason Twitter exists even when Facebook is doing so well is because they are simple. A simple update like “I just woke up” and “Goodnight” does the job, you don’t have to worry about who is reading your updates, whether someone will feel bad or not and so on.

As per Zee’s recommendation, Twitter should also provide an option to upload pictures. Well, if you have to teach a user to upload pictures to the internet before they have used Twitter, that user is a noob, complete noob. I have seen 10-11 year old kids uploading photos, so this shouldn’t be as difficult as it sounds and it should definitely not be a feature in Twitter.

Photo and Video Sharing Services Have Twitter Integration

I clicked a photo and uploaded it to , or I recorded a video and uploaded it to . Now how do I get it to Twitter? Well there is a simple button out there to do the job, so it is not hard. Twitter is not about uploading, it is about sharing and almost each and service out there has Twitter and Facebook sharing option available.

So uploading videos, photos or what not does not require Twitter, because everything around it does it. I believe that almost every site I do anything on wants me to share it on Twitter (and Facebook), so it is about integration, not implementation.

Twitter IS KISS

The reason there are so many apps for Twitter is because it leaves the nitty-gritties out while keeping in the “Simple”. Twitter has lists, but apps like and Seesmic make them ever so important.

For the record, I hardly use the web interface on Twitter, because there are so many apps out there which do the job Twitter should have done. The Twitter web interface is so simple, that I am really lost around it. I can’t function without the apps I use to use Twitter.

Of course Twitter is aware of these apps, however, they know that they have to be simple enough to KISS. If they try too much, they will obviously be something what Facebook has already been doing for so long.

Apps like TwitPic and YFrog supplement Twitter. They allow users to share content without having to put a heck of an headache on Twitter and users who don’t want Twitter can use something else. Heck, I see imgur.com being used more than anything else on Twitter for images.

Twitter Can’t Kill The EcoSystem

URL Shorteners only came into existence because of Twitter, but they have almost become a primary way of sharing URLs on the internet. When Twitter decided to start using Bit.ly as their default , there was a big hue and cry. Heck, a company even folded up and resurrected because of this decision.

Now, Twitter dropped Bit.ly and went with their own URL shortener T.co, but without hampering with the ecosystem that existed around it. Imagine when Twitter comes up with their own image sharing service, what would happen to the others? They would revolt and stop doing business? Would they just shut shop because Twitter has the control over things? Would they develop new apps around Twitter?

I highly doubt that, because Twitter knows their importance. I share almost 20-30 pictures a week, and I hardly visit TwitPic to upload my pictures. It is all done through TweetDeck, so I am not even visiting either Twitter or TwitPic to upload pictures, but I get my message through. This is because of the ecosystem Twitter has, they will survive because of this, not without it.

Twitter spends a heck of a time keeping their service up, these value-added services will only add to their headaches. Right now they have the ecosystem worrying for that, I doubt that they will change their ways here.

Twitter Is About Real-Time Not My Marriage

The reason we see real-time topics on Twitter and sites like Google and Bing using their data to supplement results is because it is real-time. Bing uses Facebook data to show you recommendations based on your friends updates, so do many other sites. But when it comes to serious topics, Twitter results are often up there and do matter. Your cute cat picture or video would not make it to real-time search because that is what Twitter is, a steady stream of updates which is built up based on user input, not a meme on your cat.

Many of the trends on Twitter are demented, but none of them came from a video share. Of course, the New York plane crash (trend came through because of a picture shared by someone near the scene. Captain Sully anyone?), but the person who uploaded the picture used TwitPic or something, not Twitter, but got through with the message.

The main reason that message came through was the picture he uploaded, but it came through Twitter, not through the picture. If that person would have put his status somewhere else, that topic would not have got as much attention as it got.

Simple enough, you got a picture, upload it, post it to Twitter, if it is viral, it gets through. If not, it doesn’t. That is the power of Twitter, getting through the message not the media accompanying it. Heck, YouTube has videos which go viral without Twitter.

Twitter Is About Adapting, Lay People Or Celebs

Some of the top Twitter accounts, and several more are about followers not following. These people have millions of followers. Some of them are Hollywood and Bollywood actors who I am very sure never knew about uploading pictures, leave aside URLs. However, I see several of these users uploading pictures on TwitPic and YFrog and getting thousands of comments.

These people did need a lesson in uploading but they learnt it nevertheless. If a normal user is dumb, these guys are dumber because they rely on someone else do all their job, but the same people are aware of clicking a photo and uploading it to whichever service they want to.

They don’t need Twitter to fulfill their media needs?


Of course, we would want all social networks to upload pictures et al, but is it worth it? Well, I put my thoughts out here. It definitely does not make sense for Twitter to add media integration. Of course they do have media integration for third parties, but that does not mean that they should add all these services.

I loved Zee’s article, but I have been using Twitter since May 2007, way before many of you have used it. I use it because it is simple and easy to use, from wherever I want to. I would prefer to keep it that way. I would certainly not mind not having few people not using it because it is not Facebook, after all they have 220 million users.

(This article is incomplete, links and references will be up shortly)

Chrome Web Store Analysis: Millions of Downloads, Top Apps and Interesting Facts

Google launched the on December 7th, 2010 at the conference. I have downloaded and used several of these apps on , many of these are really good apps and shows that the future of the web store is really bright.

However It has been almost 2 weeks since the Web store launched, so how has it performed? How many apps have are there in the web store? Which are the best selling apps? Which apps have been downloaded the most? To find answers to these questions I decided to do an analysis on how the web store has worked out and what the stats are like.

Chrome Web Store

I have based this analysis on the current numbers available at the Chrome Web Store since Google has not provided users statistics about the Chrome Web Store yet.

Facts About Chrome Web Store

First of, Chrome Web Store has seen millions of downloads, with the top 15 seeing over 1.5 million downloads so far. Here are some more facts about the Chrome Web Store and Apps:

  • There are ~2200+ apps in the Chrome Web Store right now
  • There are over ~10,500 and themes.
  • Top 15 apps have been downloaded over 1.5 million times
  • The top two most downloaded apps in the Chrome Web Store are games, and they account for almost half a million downloads
  • All apps except for are web shortcuts
  • NY Times is the only news app among the top 15 downloaded apps
  • Out of the top 15 downloaded apps, 9 are Google products
  • Groove Shark is the only music app in the top 15

Top 15 Apps in Chrome Web Store

The Chrome Store has several apps to choose from. I have written about quite a few of them (read about the Chrome Apps). Many of the apps are just web shortcuts, but the number of in-browser apps has been increasing. The top 15 apps on the Google Web Store currently features the following:

TradeLeaks Wants To Be Wikileaks For Business Whistleblowers, Failure Awaits

By now the word must bring several thoughts to your mind. Sensitive government documents and cables have made their way to this popular/un-popular site and through it to the hands of several news publications and the common man in the end.

TradeLeaks Logo

However, what about businesses? Do they have secrets to hide from us? Well, just like Julian Assange, another Australian business entrepreneur has Ruslan Kogan has unveiled TradeLeaks.com, a whistleblowing website that will make retail and trade open and transparent.

Just like Wikileaks, TradeLeaks will provide a simple way for consumers and whistleblowers within organizations to anonymously leak information, revealing any dodgy business practices of retail and trade around the world. However, there are several problems as I see it with TradeLeaks. Here are some of my views about them.

First of all, I am not sure how anonymous these leaks will be since they use an online web form on an unsecure network (read non-HTTPS) which might leak out a lot of information to the website and anyone who wants to snoop in to.  They also use Analytic tracking software from several services on the leak submission page. Wikileaks does complete anonymous submission through methods they have perfected over the years.

Secondly, There is no verification of information except for public votes and comments. This is exactly opposite of what Wikileaks does. The site’s about page says:

We do not independently assess the veracity of any information posted on our website. Rather, we rely on users to assess the merits of all information posted through posting reply comments and queries, and by rating the quality of the information posted. This verification process does not mean that all information posted will automatically be true, rather it means that users ought to independently assess each piece of information to satisfy their own minds of its veracity

Boom, that is a deal-breaker for me. How could you just not verify information while you call yourself a whistleblower website?

Thirdly, anyone can use the second fault to post false information about another company. Thanks to search engines like Google, such information could quickly make it to search engines and also kick in Google’s algorithm’s to block them in SERPs because of bad business reviews.

Fourthly, there are hundreds of sites including Ripoff Report, FTC Complaints among others which allow users to post bad experiences with any company. TradeLeaks looks more like a consumer complaint site to me rather than a whistleblowing website. The few postings on the current site strongly suggest that.

I am not against TradeLeaks or what they are looking to do, and yes they are just starting out. However, considering all these arguments, my judgment about TradeLeaks is that it is bound to fail for reasons beyond it’s vision. What do you think?

iOS 4 Is a Battery Drain For Older iPhone/iPod Touch

I had written a post before was officially released talking about how was a battery drain and whether or not you should upgrade to it. However, I did upgrade to iOS 4 and found it to be good feature wise. I have now been using the device for a couple of weeks and was disappointed with the battery performance after the switch.

iOS 4 Logo

Though iOS 4 has brought in a lot of nice changes like Folders and Multitasking, it also uses up battery pretty quickly even when the device is not being used. In my tests so far, the device holds up strictly OK and has a battery life of 7-8 hours in idle mode and approximately 3-4 hours with moderate use on an 3G. If you decide to play games or use heavy apps, the battery gets drained pretty quickly.

Now here is the problem, during the above tests, most of the apps I was using were not multitasking capable. With several apps already making use of the new multitasking feature, those numbers will go down even further.

Another problem I saw with my tests was that, if I left my device with 75%-80% battery overnight, the battery would run out in the morning. This is truly a pain since before the iPod Touch would run without  charge for 4-5 days. Now, I have to always remember to plug the device into the charging unit before I sleep. Also with heavy usage I have to usually keep the iPod Touch plugged into the charging unit.

This is definitely disappointing and like I had said it was something I had expected. You might see the same problem on an older . So if you want to use iOS4 you are better off doing it on an which has better battery life and was created specifically for iOS 4 features.

Did Microsoft Stop Bing Cashback to Curtail Online Division Losses?

The blogosphere is all buzzed today with the news of Bing stopping its cashback program where they gave cash back to users who purchased products using Bing search. Microsoft has said that they are stopping the program because of low use, however, there might be more things than what meets the eye.

Microsoft Online Operating Income

Let me point you to some facts, around more than a month ago, Business Insider ran a chart stating Microsoft’s online services division loss, a staggering loss of $711 million for the first quarter, this included Bing too.

Now, Microsoft did advertise Bing on both television and on the internet in a very bullish manner, however, do not expect that in itself to contribute towards the $711 million first quarter loss.

Considering that Microsoft pulled out Bing after the second quarter would definitely mean that their online services division has been looking at some very huge losses this quarter too, and most likely Bing cashback is a major contributor towards it.

Rest aside, Microsoft took a huge gamble with Bing Cashback and believe me it is in much larger use than Microsoft suggests, if you do not believe me, just take a look at forums which post about deals and you will understand what I am talking about.

What do you think is the real reason Microsoft stopped Bing Cashback, it is because of lack of use, or is it because of the dent the losses are causing into Microsoft’s revenue?

Know Your System’s Details With Speccy [Hardware Analysis]

[Windows Only] Coming from the same guys who made CCleaner and Defraggler, this one called Speccy from Piriform sure takes a hit at being simple and doing just what it should. Speccy is a hardware information tool that scratches your system for details and lists down everything about your hardware in a neat and tidy interface.

For people using Windows, CCleaner has been a clear favorite when it comes to quick system maintenance. Falling in the same league, Speccy allows you to have a glance of all the system details swiftly without any fuss required at the user-end.


The application caters to all aspects of hardware, from the CPU to Network to Graphics and whatever comes in between. There’s a summary page where you can see all the details in brief and then click through them to have them explained. If you’re the regular forum bird, Speccy can come in handy in a lot of situations where you need to hand over your system specs to another party, for Speccy allows you to take a screenshot’ of your configuration and have it saved to a file. This screenshot is not a jpeg as many would have assumed. It is a .speccy file which you can send over to another party and can only be opened with the Speccy application. When opened, it will present a duplicate copy of configuration as snapped from your PC.

Like other Piriform apps, Speccy is available as an installer and a portable zip file which, again, can come in handy if you’re the de facto tech support for everyone around you!

Thanks to Lee at DownloadSquad for the hat tip!