Is Twitter co-creating itself with its consumers?

May 13th, 2009

Last week Twitter upgraded the way it told people someone new was following them. Previously all you got was a name; now you get more details so you can decide whether to follow back, without having to click through.

Interestingly, two other services, Twimailer and Topify , already offered these features (plus a few more).

Here’s Twitter’s new notification style:

Twitter's new email notifications

And here’s a notification from Topify:

Email notification from Topify
I’ve often wondered how Twitter is going to successfully add features, because they’ve made it so easy for others to build infrastructure on top of their own.

As a public good, this is a great idea, because we consumers get a huge range of services we can use with Twitter, and it also helps us realise the value of Twitter, therefore increasing our loyalty.

But I didn’t realise until now what Twitter’s other motive might have been … to provide an open infrastructure so others can innovate, and to then take the best ideas and make them their own.

Is this co-creation in action? Or is it a bit predatory? What do you think?

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