What Does a Twitter IPO Mean for Users?


Since Twitter filed for IPO last week, the big question has been: How will the IPO effect the user experience.

It seems analysts don’t expect the user experience to change all that much. As one analyst told Mashable, “Twitter has been very cautious about rolling out new products, ad offerings and relationships with advertisers and media companies that it thinks could affect user experience. They’ve been careful not to alienate their user base.”

The two-sided business model is becoming the standard in social media. The users get a free service but the real customers are those who pay for premium services, advertisers and others who stand to benefit from the user data. According to Wired this murky water is exactly why a Twitter IPO could mean the end of Twitter as we know it.

The reality is that the mobile and social media advertising model is still maturing. While it may appear that Twitter’s strategy seems to be working, this fact could make the micro-blogging site “a victim of own success,” according to Wired contributor Marcus Wohlsen.

“As mobile ads rake in money, shareholders want more. And Twitter may have a tough time explaining to those investors why it needs to curb the flow from that firehose of revenue,” Wohlsen wrote.

In the online business, it’s not unheard of for users to become outspoken critics of platform changes. In fact, Twitter has already encountered some dissatisfaction with the changes in it’s API rules.  There is lots of room for Twitter to grow. As it makes the transition from startup to a sustainable business, Twitter has to manage the balancing act between shareholder expectations and user satisfaction.

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