Twitter Blue and the Reinvention of Delivering News
Adapting to an increasingly mobile-driven world
One of my favorite phones to use in the last few years was the LG G8 ThinQ. This was a phone that was panned and dismissed in most reviews, with noted YouTube tech reviewer Marques Brownlee calling it a “master of none.” I always attributed the criticism of this phone to LG not identifying an asset and talking up a novelty feature instead. The “hook” feature of this phone was something that LG called the Z Camera, which allowed for authentication through the user’s veins. It was a gimmick and didn’t work well at all. But what this feature did allow for was secure face unlock on Android in addition to a rear-mounted fingerprint sensor, granting multiple layers of device security. I have always thought that the device would have been better off if they emphasized that, as opposed to unlocking the phone with your veins.
There is a lesson to be learned from the G8, however. That lesson is to emphasize a feature or talking point that brings value to the user rather than one that is designed to get headlines. It’s a lesson that I think also applies to Twitter and its new subscription service, Twitter Blue. This service offers users a variety of features, such as undoing tweets and customizing the Twitter app icon. But behind those superficial main features, there is the potential to revolutionize the way that people consume news in the future. Twitter calls these features Top Articles and Ad-Free Articles.
The Changing of the Source
When I was growing up, the way that you got the news was generally from two different sources: newspapers and TV news channels like CNN. The internet, of course, changed all of this. Print media outlets like The New York Times have started to adapt to digital, and those that haven’t adapted have become irrelevant. TV news stations now create streaming video content for smartphones as a mode of delivery in the age of cord-cutting. But most important of all is that more and more people are getting their news from social media apps like Twitter and Facebook.