The unfriendly face of social media

Mark Heward - July 9, 2012

This month saw one of the biggest revelations in social media circles, possibly since its creation, as Twitter pulled the plug on LinkedIn. The move came as a shock to most but is possibly the sign of things to come.

Since the emergence of social media each of the platforms has played nicely with each other, often providing easy ways to link and share content across platforms. As a social media user (some would even say addict) I’ve found that I’ve been able to combine platforms in a way that works for me. Every platform happily worked hand in hand too with Facebook pulling from Twitter, Twitter sharing images from Instagram, and of course LinkedIn publishing Twitter updates. Everyone seemed happy with their share of the spoils, and worked hand-in-hand with each other.

English: Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook founder and...

Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook founder and CEO, during his European Tour. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So what’s changed? I’m sad to say that it all boils down to cold hard cash. Social media has become big business and the platforms are getting greedy. Facebook, the most popular social media platform at the moment, recently made its debut on the stock market with an estimated value in the region of $104bn. With figures like that other companies are going to do what they can to catch up and if that means cutting out the competition so be it.

Twitter’s thinking is simple. If people want to see Twitter content they should have to go through Twitter. That way people will see their promoted content and advertising revenue rise. By cutting off LinkedIn fewer people will visit the site to check for updates and will simply visit Twitter for the information. It’s not a nice tactic but it could prove to be effective one.

I fear what Twitter has started here will simply be a glimpse of things to come. What’s next? Twitter cutting off Facebook? Facebook blocking Instagram? Pinterest not allowing connectivity via Twitter? Twitter has potentially opened a giant can of worms here. Is this the start of social Mmdia warfare?

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