Is an Enterprise Twitter on the Horizon?

Twitter’s latest iteration of its site is great, but  it’s abundantly clear that the newly dumbed down design is aimed exclusively at the consumer.  But what about the enterprise?  Does the new Twitter design mean that ultimately, there will be a second conception of the beloved social networking tool, an enterprise edition?

Now, keep in mind, in this context “enterprise edition” does not mean a Twitter app built in ABAP that would require the user to navigate eleven screens in order to Tweet.  That would be the SAP version.  (They could call it “Sapper”, as in sapping the users’ energy and patience.)

No, an enterprise edition as it relates to Twitter would include the following, while maintaining its user-friendliness:

  1. Corporate policies and policy management.  Unlike regular Twitter, it wouldn’t do to have employees lobbing grenades at one another.
  2. Comprehensive data persistence and archiving. This would mainly be for auditing and compliance purposes.  And the company would want to make sure that everyone in the organization is keenly aware that if they Tweet “You looked really hot in the project planning session today” to a colleague, it’s stored and logged in the company’s database.
  3. Security (access controls, etc.) Users would only have access to the information that they would be permitted to see and/or act upon.
  4. Integration with anti-virus and content filtering tools. This one’s obvious.
  5. Application development (plug-ins, integration with productivity tools)
  6. Enterprise-class administration tools to support some of the above requirements.

The point would be to provide a simple and quick way (and just as importantly, a uniform and standardized format) for workers to communicate and share resources with each other.

Enterprise versions of social networking tools already exist, the most prominent being the very-successful startup, Yammer. (We use Yammer extensively at GoodData). There are numerous other players in the market place as well, including biggest Twitter competitor: Google+.

So, is Twitter poised to enter the fray?  It appears not.  As a matter of fact, the new design seems to fulfill one of Twitter’s main goals; to increase the simplicity of use.  And, at the recent Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco, Twitter CEO Dick Costolo talked of many things, but an upcoming enterprise version of Twitter was notably not one of them.  With usage approaching 300 million tweets per day, for now, it appears, Twitter has other fish to fry.

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