If the prospect of Facebook controlling access to all meaningful social content on the internet isn't reason enough.. Here's some more. A product manager for the Twitter platform put up a post today about the future of the Twitter API. To make a long story short he hammers home the desire for a uniform and consistent experience across all applications that use Twitter and alleges that 3rd party Twitter clients are confusing users by presenting them with experiences that aren't the same as Twitter'sde factoexperience.
The most concise and cutting response I read regarding this stated very simple: Different users have different needs. I couldn't agree more. It seems like this is more motivated by monetization of the platform than anything else.
Twitter owns all of your micro-blogging data. Yes, there are some tools to archive it but how many people are dong this? They own the protocol used to access the data, and they reserve the right to change it or change who (or what applications) can access the data at any time. Walled gardens aren't just about the information. They are about the tools and mechanisms used to access the information. Aren't you glad that we stopped using AOL's client and AOL's protocol? Competition in technology for accessing information on the internet has driven a ton of innovation in the browser and web-app spaces. This competition is vital, in my opinion. Otherwise we will just stagnate.
I'm not the first person to say it, and there are people out there trying to make it happen but I canforeseea time in the not too distant future where we have micro-blogging and social networking sites whose content is truly owned by the creators of the content. Platforms build on open, standardized protocols. Platforms that encourage competition and innovation. This is the direction we need to be moving in.