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Any strategy to Twitter’s rollout of #NewTwitter?

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 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.

Published in Thoughts and Rants


  1. Ben – I’m an early adopter of Twitter as well (September 2006 sometime) but in the grand scale of things I think the rollout probably has little to do with how early an adopter we are than it is to make sure the rollout happens smoothly. Plus, if things didn’t run as well as anticipated they would want to limit the “bad press” so you are probably exactly not the kind of person to roll out such a large change to 🙂

  2. Lydia Sugarman Lydia Sugarman

    Did you get access to #newTwitter yet? It was given to my business account which has far fewer followers and newer than my basic personal account. I ditched it. Don’t like the #newTwitter. It takes too much real estate to deliver what they want. Besides, I’m a huge fan of white space and clean design. So, you’re really not missing anything. Just a rearrangement of what’s already there, but in a bad way.

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