Thunderclap is certainly an interesting way of maximising the impact of slacktivism, particularly when it comes to lobbying individuals such as the senators mentioned in Taibbi's tweet. If you were going to tweet about a cause anyway, why not contribute to an "event tweet"? It will be noticeable in other people's Twitter feeds for a short amount of time and may help get a particular cause trending, which in itself helps to perpetuate the message.
However, it is likely to become more irritating and spammy if it is used by brands seeking to hawk their products. If it becomes recognised as a tool that can game the twitter trending topics, companies may find nefarious ways to drum up support for lame products or causes. Furthermore, it seems as though Thunderclaps will only have an impact if they are relatively rare -- otherwise they risk just becoming noise. It would be great if Twitter users could select the types of Thunderclaps they are interested in seeing -- so you could say "yes" to politics, but "no" to products.
Bajwa says that Twitter requested that Thunderclap users retain the ability to customize the messages the service posts on their behalf. The social company also cited “the potential public good that can be provided with by this service,” and emphasized the need to maintain “a high quality bar for the types of Thunderclaps we allow onto our site.”
That suggests that Twitter is willing to put up with Thunderclap as long as it remains primarily a tool for social activism and philanthropy. If it were to mutate into an advertising product — a competitor for Twitter’s own Promoted Tweets — the dispensation could be withdrawn.
Twitter appears to be building a very nice business on the basis of its ability to promote tweets. The last thing it needs is anyone else coming in and using its platform to offer a competing service.
Is that why Thunderclap, the new tweet-amplification product I wrote about last week, is suddenly offline?
Shortly before 3 p.m., Twitter sent a suspension of service notice to De-De, the design firm behind Thunderclap. “This is a notice that your [authorization] token for Thunderclap has been suspended from interacting with the Twitter API,” the message read. “Please make sure that your application follows Twitter’s API Terms of Service.”
“Simultaneous scale” isn’t exactly an alien concept to Twitter. In some ways, a Thunderclap attacks the same problem as a Promoted Tweet, Twitter’s native ad unit. Thunderclap’s creators aren’t looking at it as an advertising vehicle per se, but their early thoughts about monetization contemplate the possibility of professional accounts that would allow organizations to get out their messages.
Will Twitter welcome the new service within its ecosystem, or will it attempt to shut the door on what could well evolve into a form of competition? Essex says De-De didn’t seek the platform’s blessing in advance; a Twitter spokesman didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
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Updated on August 1, 2013
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"Tens of thousands of people skipped work in 2006 to march in immigration-rights rallies across the country and on the National Mall in Washington. So the 2013 Virtual March for Immigration Reform, using social media to pressure Congress online, is a clear sign of how the movement is evolving. " via ABC
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