Last week, Twitter announced it would be filing for an IPO. At Ars Technica, Casey Newton breaks down how going public could change the social networking company. For the most part the move could benefit both Twitter and users, but as Newton points out, there are some potential landmines:
A focus on new business lines could distract the company from the product that brought everyone to Twitter in the first place. Continued changes to the timeline could alienate the user base. And the company’s plans to rule the mobile advertising world could be swatted aside by Google, Facebook, or another competitor.
There’s also the looming question of what becomes of Twitter’s third-party clients, like Twitteriffic and Twittelator. The apps run without advertising, making them free riders on Twitter’s ecosystem, and are widely viewed as an endangered species. Going public may add pressure on Twitter to eliminate apps whose own view of the service increasingly differs from its own.