Twitter may be changing but that doesn't mean you have to.
The premier micro-blogging service is no longer the starry-eyed startup it used to be but if you think it can possibly stay the same as in its early days then you are sorely mistaken and looking back with rose-tinted spectacles.
A business must adapt to survive
To survive in the competitive online world you are looking at achieving mass adoption and what appeals to the mass market invariably differs from the interests of the early adopters.
Having joined in 2006 I welcome that twitter is now used for more than just social media navel gazing. In June 2008 I performed an experiment on FriendFeed where I created a second account, completely separate from my 'geek' self in order to gauge the use of the service outside of the 'Echo Chamber' - the results were not encouraging. Fast forward 2 and a half years and the public at large now understand social, they get it!
There are only so many that will use a service like Twitter to talk tech. We may not appreciate much of the banality that passes for conversation but we cannot deny that twitter is a much stronger, and more influential, place now that the conversation has diversified. Be it news or sport, it's good to be able to keep up with things in easy bite size pieces.
Macro v micro
Remember, we control the tweets we see by controlling the list of people whose tweets we subscribe to. Just because Lady GaGa or Snoop Dogg are on twitter doesn't mean I have to follow them. Brands seek celebrity endorsement in order to spread their message and it is unfortunately a necessary evil in today's celebrity culture.
As individuals, we do not drink from the firehose. We create our own secular networks, predominantly isolated with small points of intersection; from day-to-day the rest may just as well not exist. I need not alter my online behaviour or connections simply because the population has grown.
Fear of change
Twitter has been compared to the adolescent teenager throwing a tantrum over the API usage issues but, ultimately, it is doing what it needs to survive. As I mentioned before, the timing and nature of Twitters announcements may have been handled better but the decisions have been born of necessity.
Has it lost touch with early adopters? Really? What else would early adopters be using it for?
Tools may be changing but core usage remains the same. We tweet, we share links and images. We have lists and hashtags. None of this has changed.
People may say that they don't like being told what they can and cannot do but those same people will be using Facebook and iPhones - two of the most closed environments around. They have just gotten used to Twitter being more open and are throwing tantrums themselves.
Image by busy.pochi