Twitter seems on an aggressive path to putting pedal to the metal. From its earliest days as a failwhale generator and a ransacker of third party successes, the company under Jack Dorsey’s stewardship has become an acquirer of tools to support the creators it hosts. Twitter Spaces, its Clubhouse clone, has steadily improved its UI with integration of relevant tweets at the top of a space and Twitter graph awareness of listeners. When I most recently joined a Kara Swisher spacecast, my icon appeared at the top of the window right after the host and invited speakers. But next to me on the listener list was Dan Farber, my Salesforce colleague and frequent Gillmor Gang member over the years.
What I think is going on is a personalization based on my Twitter social graph. A subtle touch, but much more interesting to me than some sort of global Twitter ranking that factors in celebrities and other signals not as relevant as what the feature reflects, an algorithm of, to borrow a phrase, influencer rank. Not influence at a social level, but guided by my own internal algorithm, that if I was looking for friends in a space of over a thousand people, Dan is now a simple direct message away when I click on his icon.
There are other tweaks in Spaces, but the most important one may turn out to be integration of Spaces metadata in the new Twitter API v2. In effect, this capability could be harnessed by third party developers to create their own algorithms around Space dynamics and listener uptake by host, speakers, topics, and scheduled events. Other contiguous projects include a pilot to wire up your Twitter profile to your Revue newsletter. Clicking on the link takes you to a page detailing recent newsletters and links to joining as a subscriber. Twitter, which bought Revue to compete with Substack, is extending clever integration points like Revue’s RSS-enabled drag and drop support for feeds you can mine for citations as you build your newsletter.
A few weeks or months ago, I wouldn’t have paid much attention to the growing conversation around crypto. That would include Jack Dorsey’s moves in his companies Square and Twitter to promote the possibilities of the blockchain and growing attention from Congress and regulatory agencies. Eye opening was the impact on the bipartisan Infrastructure bill, where an anti-crypto tax-related amendment threatened to slow down Senate adoption before failing. But Twitter’s success at consolidating various assets around the growth of the subscription and social audio sectors makes me think at least twice about other things being connected. On this Gillmor Gang episode, Keith Teare and the Gang rehash the same ground about the viability of crypto. But it’s hard to argue that, whether or not anyone can answer the question of what problem crypto solves, it may factor into a surprising variety of solutions.
the latest Gillmor Gang Newsletter
The Gillmor Gang — Frank Radice, Michael Markman, Keith Teare, Denis Pombriant, Brent Leary and Steve Gillmor. Recorded live Friday, July 23, 2021.
Produced and directed by Tina Chase Gillmor @tinagillmor
@fradice, @mickeleh, @denispombriant, @kteare, @brentleary, @stevegillmor, @gillmorgang