Will Twitter try to move mainstream?

Business Insider has looked at the road show for the Twitter IPO, and says slide 41 is the most interesting because it says that Twitter would like to be “mainstream.” But their numbers show that it’s used by elite newsmakers and journalists. Something I’ve been saying for a long time. It’s at least a dress rehearsal for the way we’ll do news in the future.

Why isn’t this good enough? Does it have to be mainstream? Can’t they find a way to make money even if it’s primarily for newsmakers and news producers? Look at all the money Bloomberg made, with information designed for a much smaller group of the elite, stock traders.

Question for the rest of us, if Twitter as it chases the mainstream user, limits its utility as a news platform by — for example — navigating to where Facebook is, what’s Plan B? Where will we congregate then?

With its growth slowing, and the public market certain to demand more monetization, it does seem possible for Twitter to try to navigate away from being an elite communication platform.

Twitter trying to be something new is risky, like Microsoft trying to make Windows into an iOS competitor.


About Dave Winer

Dave Winer, 54, pioneered the development of weblogs, syndication (RSS), podcasting, outlining, and web content management software; former contributing editor at Wired Magazine, research fellow at Harvard Law School, entrepreneur, and investor in web media companies. A native New Yorker, he received a Master's in Computer Science from the University of Wisconsin, a Bachelor's in Mathematics from Tulane University and currently lives in Berkeley, California.
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