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> The world needs a strong Twitter

Really? Does it? I think Twitter needs a strong Twitter, shareholders need a strong Twitter even Twitter employees need it. However the world is, at best, ambivalent about Twitter, if it disappeared tomorrow a replacement would spring up within a few weeks if the world really needed a way to shotgun their messages into the ether.

A few automated trading algorithms would become marginally less effective. Some poorly written ones might crash or make a few million dollars worth of bad trades.

So, you know, there's that.

I would assume Twitter would eventually find a reason in the terms of service, or add it, where that sort of thing isn't allowed. Therefore they could create their own poor implementation of the idea in a desperate attempt to generate some revenue.

I don't know why the parent post is being downvoted: trading using Twitter sentiment analysis is apparently a thing [1][2].

[1] http://www.deltixlab.com/research/an-automated-trading-strat...

[2] http://cs229.stanford.edu/proj2011/TrusheimChakoumakosYendlu...

Edit: typo

> I don't know why the parent post is being downloaded

You may be browsing from localhost but the rest of us has to download this HTML...

there have even been a few instances shown on HN where these algorithms picked stuff up from the internet and have run with it, i.e. placed real trades. I remember at least 2 instances of this recently, once where the story was fake and once where an earnings forecast(i think) was released on a site but they had not published the URL so the assumption was no one would see it. The bot made a significant sum on the second example.

Many stories are deliberately faked to push the sentiment bots. Its a murky world.

Fascinating - especially if the loop get closed and trading algorithms can generate short-lived tweets (Markov chains?) to disrupt their opponents sentiment analysis.

The world also needs fewer* trading algorithms.

Well, really, the world doesn't need any. But I'm curious why you think the world would benefit from fewer.

Isn't there no real value added with HFT? Isn't the question then 'why don't we have fewer?'

Apparently the people doing it are gaining something from it, else as you note there would be less of it. I don't know whether it's value-creating or not as a whole; there are different types and classes of HFT operations and algorithms (including those that try to trade based on rumors and sentiment), and various arguments about who is or is not better off for their existence. Someone who wants to assert that it's harmful needs to have some kind of tally of all the benefits/profits and all the harm/losses that shows net value destruction, or at the very least a complete ethical argument. All we got was "the world needs less of this", which doesn't really do much to further anyone's understanding nor provide a digestible view on the matter.

HFT is generally touted to provide liquidity, at the least. Of course, there are some that argue against that.

Odd. While incredibly flawed it's still the single best toolto fight against censorship and public and private control. If you have doubts go look at how many national governments have blocked it at one time or another. The world is better off with a strong Twitter.

Saying it like that makes it sound too much like the brand is what is needed as opposed to the tool. To put your words another way: The world is better off with a strong tool to fight against censorship and public and private control.

If Twitter starting taking massive cash payments from governments to filter content, it would be a strong Twitter with lots of cash, but not a strong tool to fight against anything.

Yes, but Twitter deserves credit for creating something that didn't exist. It's global IRC for the masses. That and it brought the Internet real-time search. That's huge and did not exist before Twitter.

Well, in the world Twitter was created, maybe it was needed. But that is not the world you live in right now.

But the brand can't be dismissed. The brand attracts users which amplify the reach of the message of an individual. Without the brand and network you're just standing on a street corner with a bullhorn.

It's really just that a strong social media network is needed. Twitter's format works well for this, but I wouldn't be under any delusions that no one would fill the gap that Twitter left. Social media isn't very entertaining unless it capture a significant portion of the market, I'm fairly confident that people would settle on a new service instead of being fractured across a bunch of different social networks. This is a big part of the reason why Facebook and Twitter have lasted so long. There are lots of other companies providing very similar services, I've tried a few, but without friends on there there isn't much of a point.

> While incredibly flawed it's still the single best toolto fight against censorship and public and private control.

But is it the best because it is better than the alternatives we would have without it is, or is it the best because its dominance in messaging prevents better tools (in terms of "the fight against censorship and ... control") from being developed or gaining traction and critical mass -- e.g., is the goal you point to really being served by a strong Twitter, or held back by it?

It's funny how accurate Silicon Valley(HBO show) is - https://vimeo.com/98720197

Everyone wants to make the world a better place

That show is great and it really goes to show how the rest of the world sees 'us'. It is funny to see how accurate they are.

Morgan Stanley, Fidelity, Vanguard, Jennison Associates, and Blackrock need a stronger Twitter. [1]

Also interesting to note that over the past year insiders have only bought 1.5m shares while offloading 12.5m.

[1] http://www.nasdaq.com/symbol/twtr/ownership-summary

This doesn't always mean that insiders are dumping stock because they know the company is doomed. Sometimes yes, but when you have a company like Twitter where a pretty significant percentage of compensation is in stock options and RSUs, then you're going to have lots of insiders selling in batches, so they can actually use that compensation to get things like houses and cars and diversified investment portfolios.

... and pay taxes

good joke there!

All of the above companies are asset managers, not principal investors (even MS in this context). Meaning that they don't benefit from a stronger Twitter, but the individual investors and pension accounts who own their ETFs and index funds do.

You might have a point if rich people's investment vehicles (like hedge funds, private equity or venture funds) owned the majority of TWTR - but they don't, as you showed.

All of the above companies are asset managers, not principal investors (even MS in this context)

And what happens if those asset managers lose money year after year or don't keep up with others?

> Really? Does it?

When you're the CEO of twitter, yes. You're not going to say anything else.

I know one company [1] who set its mission to "Advancing humanity through the power of software". I wonder what's the credit when your values are quoted in a parody show ("Silicon Valley", HBO).

[1] https://www.atlassian.com/company

Well, according to a lot of newbie developers, twitter can actually be written in a weekend.


Whatever value Twitter has, the majority of it definitely isn't in its technical implementation.

Especially if they need thousands of people to maintain it, when WhatsApp needs 50 employees even though they process an order of magnitude more messages.

Well, I guess that's true in a way.

Many could certainly clone the Twitter service in under a weekend, and since nobody would be using it, it would certainly appear they did a good job.

What you couldn't do in a weekend is provide something to operate at the scale Twitter does, such that it could be dropped in to replace (or handle all the traffic if Twitter ceased to exist).

I think you have a point. I use Twitter a lot for professional and sometime personal reasons however it does have potential to be replaced by a better networking site. Even though its a powerful tool, I don't think it helps users and businesses like it use to, unless you pay for features. Ashton Kutcher explained how Twitter, not Facebook, can be the new Myspace: http://www.askmeanything.me/influencers/ashtonkutcher

The world was arguably better when the options were IRC or Usenet.

Well I argue that point. I love both but I can't imagine running the streets of the Arab spring with my laptop, or trying to keep my phone battery going while I maintain my connection to an IRC network.

There are some things where the combination of public, easy to use, short, sms friendly are a big plus for some things. Not that twitter is the only one doing these things or that they couldn't be built on ICR.

The alternatives have no base, no brand and aren't as universally accessible (regardless of blockages). The world needs Twitter because Twitter is the most efficient way of reaching a large audience quickly NOW. Regardless of what the future holds, or "what-if" scenarios the reality remains that Twitter holds a place as the world's voice in certain situations.

Funny that you get upvoted for this sentiment when I said the exact same thing about WhatsApp a year ago on HN and it got buried to hell.

If anything, the world needs a Twitter that doesn't censor as much:


A replacement might as well be Twitter. So what you're saying is... nothing.

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