When rolling out a new feature of your app/startup/site, do you consider which groups of users should receive the update first? If you can’t roll out to everyone at the same time, how do you decide which folks get switched first?
It’s been a few days since Twitter announced the revolutionary and complete redesign of the Twitter.com site #newtwitter, and I’m disappointed that I’m still being served the old site. It’s not because I’m on some self-entitlement trip but because there are two aspects to my Twitter account that I’d have thought, strategically, indicate would be a good candidate to be one of the first to get the update.
My account was created in 2006
I’m a very early Twitter user – which means I’m probably very interested in the company, I probably work in the industry and I’m probably well connected/networked/influencer. Think of the blogging, evangelism and Mad Props™ I could be giving Twitter right now if I was able to precis the new site. Instead I’m frustratingly warming the bench unable to offer any viewpoint other than the slide deck.
My account is whitelisted as a developer account
As Alex Payne said in his recent post “The Very Last Thing I’ll Write About Twitter”:
“#newtwitter sees the Twitter web interface itself become a kind of platform. Previously, developers took data out of Twitter and into the context of their own applications and services. The new design flips this on its head, bringing rich embedded content into the site from a host of brand-name web properties.”
So we have this new platform opportunity, and presumably Twitter wants developers to experiment and build plugins for it. Well I’m labeled as a developer in Twitter’s system but I’m getting no play. Not only is the thought of building something for #NewTwitter becoming less appealing, but if others are getting there fist then the window of opportunity is closing (cue a future blog post on the ‘arms rush of a new platform’).
I have no idea how Twitter has decided to roll out #NewTwitter – presumably it’s just on a shard-by-shard basis, which is also how Google does updates to GMail (although the above factors have less merit in the GMail ecosystem). To me, for Twitter, that seems a less-than-smart way of doing things and its not how I would have done things if I was working there.