Five things Twitter just promised

From the Twitter Shareholder Letter released yesterday:

First, Twitter is an iconic service and a globally recognized brand. We are going to fix the broken windows and confusing parts, like the [email protected] syntax and @reply rules, that we know inhibit usage and drive people away. We’re going to improve the timeline to make sure you see the best Tweets, while preserving the timelines we are known for. The timeline improvement we announced just this morning has grown usage across the board (including Tweeting and Retweeting). We’re going to improve onboarding flows to make sure you easily find both your contacts and your interests. We’re going to make Tweeting faster while making Tweets more expressive with both text and visual media. We’re going to help people come together around a particular topic, such as our @NBA timelines experiences. Relentlessly refining Twitter will enable more people to get more out of Twitter faster.

Second, we have amazing technology for live streaming video. Periscope lets anyone on the planet broadcast and watch video live with others. We recently added the ability to broadcast from a GoPro camera, and to watch any broadcast live from a Tweet. Pairing Periscope with Twitter gives broadcasters greater distribution (anywhere a Tweet can be displayed, a Periscope can too) and the ability to hook into our revenue products. We believe live streaming video is a strong complement to the live nature of Twitter, and it helps instantly explain the value of our service. We’re going to invest heavily in these first-screen, connected audience experiences. Being able to instantly broadcast and watch a live stream with others is extremely powerful and entertaining.

Third, Twitter is by far the fastest way to talk with the world. And because of that, we have the most creative and influential people and organizations in the world actively Tweeting. Whether it’s musicians releasing albums or polling people to help name their albums, journalists Tweeting their stories and getting feedback, artists, activists, athletes, and politicians, established or emerging – these are the people who shape and influence culture, and they bring the audience that follows through Twitter. And we love them! Vine and Niche have proven their ability to create new talent and match them with marketers to make a living from their passion. We will focus on helping these creators build and connect with their fans and audience through Twitter by giving them better tools. And we’re going to enable more people and media partners to create and share Moments, which is proving to be a great medium for storytelling through Tweets.

Fourth, we will continue to invest more resources in making our platform safer. We stand for freedom of expression, and people must feel safe in order to speak freely. Online harassment and abuse is a difficult challenge. This year we will implement technology to help us detect the use of repeat abusive accounts, make it much simpler to report multiple abusive Tweets or accounts, and give people simpler tools to curate and control their experience on Twitter. But it’s not just about creating better tools and technology; we will also be smart and adaptive about our policies in this area and invest in faster response times. Finally, we’re going to emphasize educating people about our safety tools and features as we roll them out.

Fifth, we’re going to continue to invest in developers. We want developers to be able to build their businesses with Twitter. We are investing in mobile with Fabric, our platform that helps developers build, grow, and make money with their apps. Fabric has grown from 0 to 1.6 billion active mobile devices in just 18 months. We believe there’s huge strategic value in building a platform for developers that helps us grow our reach. We are investing in making it easy for developers to discover, curate, and seamlessly publish great, live stories with Twitter content using TweetDeck, Curator, and embedded Tweets. More than one billion visitors to our developers’ sites and apps already see these embedded Tweets every month. We believe that these sites and apps are incredibly important amplifiers that show the huge reach and importance of Tweets. Finally, we will continue to invest in helping developers make their businesses more productive by understanding their customers and markets with Twitter data.

These are Twitter’s priorities for the coming year. Interesting that one of the five pillars is to “continue to invest in developers”. While I’m not a Twitter developer, I do recognize that Twitter does not make it easy on developers of Twitter apps. My sense (from the outside) is that major features are added to the official Twitter app (like Moments) without giving 3rd party apps fair notice so they have enough time to build these features into their own apps.

It’d be nice to see Twitter embrace the makers of 3rd party apps, to help them keep up with the changes in the official Twitter app. As is, it feel like Twitter’s official app is leaving 3rd party apps behind.