I Just Paid For a Promotional Video And Twitter Effectively Killed My Service

Less than a month ago I had a video in production, that was going to boost my service. The video is ready, but now I wish I didn’t pay for it. Not because it’s bad (it’s great), but because the new rules introduced by twitter are effectively killing my service. Welshare is providing a unified interface to the major social networks, with the option to reshare content across networks. Now twitter disallows having any extra actions for a tweet. And also disallows showing content from other networks alongside tweets. And I sense the imminent end – welshare has around six months, until twitter start to enforce their rules. Well, they won’t close welshare if it has 1000 registered users as it does now, but if at any point it grows, it will catch attention and my API access will be revoked.

I have already emailed them possible options for working around the new rules – displaying a tweet according to the rules, but still being able to provide the “reshare” button and to view tweets and facebook posts on the same page. No response for 20 days, but I guess they’re busy with requests and I’ll get an answer soon. My suggestions are actually valid – displaying the reshare button on the left of the tweet. And having separate portions of the screen dedicated to twitter and the rest, but I don’t know how broad can rule 6.1 be interpreted. And welshare is an alternative client, something which twitter officially “hates” now. They didn’t when I started building it though.

Even if we manage to negotiate a workable solution (which I hope for), the moral of the story is clear – it is a hazard move to make a product that heavily depends on other services. At some point a popular service can kill you with one blow, and all the months and money invested will be in vain. I don’t say being an entrepreneur and investing time and money isn’t risky otherwise, but reliance on 3rd parties increases that risk. So what naively started as a tool to simplify the usage of multiple social networks, now has become a “political impossibility” – every network wants to be “the one network”.

The money and time I invested? It was worth it, as is usually the case with entrepreneurship.

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  1. A parasitic business model is always a risk.
    You win some and you lose some but i am sure you will find a way.

      • lanzz on September 6, 2012 at 9:35 am
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      So every value-added business model is parasitic?

    • Bozho on September 5, 2012 at 4:12 pm
      Author
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    I wouldn’t call it ‘parasitic’, as it aims to improve the experience, and does that by official means. It’s ‘dependant’.

    • Ian on September 5, 2012 at 4:22 pm
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    Find a pivot. There is definitely one. Look at Branch.

    • Austin Hanson on September 5, 2012 at 4:28 pm
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    Was it really “your” product if it could be so easily devalued by dependency changes?

      • Bozho on September 5, 2012 at 8:02 pm
        Author
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      Of course. Is it Henry Ford’s product if it can so easily by devalued by the lack of petrol?

    • Eran on September 5, 2012 at 5:13 pm
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    I follow you on Stackoverflow, and I’m glad you used your talent to build something great too, it is still a very relevant service even without twitter, just put linked-in instead (and app.net) and you’ll be fine,
    people will just use twitter less hopefully if NO 3rd party apps will be allowed to ease people’s lives.

    • Jesse Raleigh on September 5, 2012 at 5:45 pm
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    So it does what ping.fm did 4 years ago?

      • Bozho on September 5, 2012 at 7:55 pm
        Author
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      nope. I tried ping.fm and tons of other services before even starting writing code, but none of them worked for me. In ping.fm can you reshare a post from facebook to twitter or vice-versa with a single click? I didn’t see that back then, and I don’t see it now.

  2. It is true that software using services has a shorter life span. Even if a service provider doesn’t act like Twitter, they could still discontinue an API like Google has or stop supporting old API versions.

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