By Kevin O'Keefe

Tweets no longer on LinkedIn : I like the result of social media turf war

Tweets on LinkedInRyan Roslansky (@ryos), LinkedIn’s Head of Content Products, announced on Friday that Tweets will no longer automatically be displayed on LinkedIn.

Since 2009 LinkedIn users had been able to share their tweets with their connections on LinkedIn via the Twitter interface directly. This could be done automatically by choosing an option on LinkedIn to have all of your Tweets fed into into your LinkedIn feed so as to share all of your tweets with your LinkedIn or by tagging a tweet with ‘#in’ would accomplish the same thing as to a singular tweet.

What’s the impact to you?

If you had previously synced your LinkedIn and Twitter accounts, and selected the option to share Tweets on LinkedIn, those Tweets generated from Twitter will no longer appear on LinkedIn. There will be no other changes to your LinkedIn experience.

To share updates on both LinkedIn and Twitter, LinkedIn now wants you to go through LinkedIn.

Initiate the conversation on LinkedIn. Simply compose your update, check the box with the Twitter icon, and click “Share.” This will automatically push your update to both your LinkedIn connections and your Twitter followers just as you’ve been able to do previously.

My first response when I heard of the move was this is good news, I can’t stand all the tweets from people who are looking to automatically disseminate what ever they share on the net through every social media and social network at their disposal.

All too many people and companies, lawyers and law firms included, believe if a little bit is good, then a lot must be better. But when you’re unknowingly spamming people that’s not a good thing. Pushing all of your tweets through LinkedIn can feel like spam to many of your connections.

Twitter and LinkedIn are different social media platforms. Twitter, in large part, is a news and information sharing platform. Some lawyers have described Twitter to me as the their leading source of news and information – as to both legal and industry information.

LinkedIn is much more of a professional networking platform. Certainly the sharing of news, information, and insight with your LinkedIn connections enables the building of relationships, just as such sharing does on Facebook. One just doesn’t see LinkedIn as a river of news and info as is Twitter – a river that can easily be segmented by lists and search.

LinkedIn’s decision to stop displaying Tweets was not founded on this logic or, perhaps, any other long term thinking. It’s a turf war.

Twitter’s Group Product Manager, Michael Sippey (@sippey), shared on Twitter’s development blog earlier on Friday that Twitter would be taking greater control of how third party developers use Twitter.

Just over two weeks ago, I talked about more interactive experiences within expanded Tweets and how easy it is for users to discover even more great content on Twitter. The technology behind expanded Tweets — Twitter cards — gives developers and publishers a way to tell richer stories on Twitter, directly within Tweets and drive traffic back to their sites. Since launch, we’ve seen great engagement and more than doubled the number of partners that are part of expanded Tweets, and we continue to add more.

Twitter cards are an important step toward where we are heading with our platform, which involves creating new opportunities to build engaging experiences into Twitter. That is, we want developers to be able to build applications that run within Tweets. Just a few days ago, our CEO Dick Costolo said, “What you’ll see us do more and more as a platform is allow third parties to build into Twitter.” This is something we’ve been talking about for a while, and we’re looking forward to adding new ways for developers to do this.

As always, we’re hard at work building tools that make it easy for developers to build common Twitter features into their own sites in a simple and consistent way. Some examples of these tools include the Tweet Button, Follow Button, embeddable Tweets and the search widget. Ultimately, we want to make sure that the Twitter experience is straightforward and easy to understand — whether you’re on or elsewhere on the web. (emphasis added)

We’re still in the wild west days of social media and the platforms evolving around social media. Each time one of the platforms changes their way of doing things, which can be on a minute’s notice, other platforms react.

Flipboard just allowed the New York Times to run its full newspaper though Flipboard via the Times’ subscription business model. Other publications, including Conde Nast, which had been told by Flipboard that a ‘subscription delivery model’ through Flipboard was not permitted pulled their publications off Flipboard the next day.

LinkedIn’s reaction to Twitter’s wanting to pull the reins in on how third party developers use Twitter is much the same. “We don’t like what you’re doing, here’s our response to get a leg up on you.”

Turf wars are inevitable when platforms and companies are trying to figure out their space and role in social media. No matter what anyone says, the industry as a whole is making it up as we go along. And there is a lot of future revenue and profits for companies in how this all shakes out.

I like LinkedIn no longer allowing tweets. You can still share news and information with your connections. You’ll just do so in a more deliberate and caring manner.

Though there may be some collateral damage to third party developers as a result of the LinkedIn – Twitter turf war, my gut tells me we all (LexBlog Network, user of Twitter and LinkedIn platforms) will all be okay. Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and the like will serve as global utilities, all serving a different purpose, upon which we will develop to serve our clients and members.

Kevin O'Keefe
About the Author

Trial lawyer turned legal tech entrepreneur, I am the founder and CEO of LexBlog, a legal blog community of over 30,000 blog publishers, worldwide. LexBlog’s publishing platform is used on a subscription basis by over 18,000 legal professionals, including the largest law firm in each India, China and the United States.

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