Twitter Messing Around with Inline Media?

Twitter Messing Around with Inline Media?

According to TechCrunch, twitter might be messing around with the idea of displaying inline media right on their page.  To me, this is potentially a peak at Twitter’s answer to the biggest problem (I think) they’ll face over the next year: “How to compete with Facebook’s features, but maintain differentiation.  The little box that Facebook gives you (see above), is definitely sleeker and cooler then Twitter, who relies on Bit.ly and Twitpic for links and pictures.

The question for Twitter to ponder (and I don’t know the answer) is, should they copy Facebook’s idea.  There are a number of things to consider in this space:

  1. It is possible that people prefer bit.ly and twitpic in spite of the fact that they are a little less intuitive and aesthetically appealing.  If some people prefer Twitter’s current method, copying Facebook would alienate those people and likely leave them with no reason to keep both Twitter and Facebook.
  2. One reason for Twitter’s success is the fact that the various API applications give a wide variety of “looks” and “feels” for Twitter contents.  By leaving tweets in this “raw” format, I can choose a client that either shows pictures inline or one that gives me a twitpic link, the decision is mine.
  3. Some people do still use text message based Twitter, how would they see more robust tweets?