Which feature a Twitter clone should have?

Up to now, we’ve seen the emergence of 6 Twitter clones in Vietnam, 4 of which have been pretty active while the 5th one (Hola?) is dying and the 6th is about to be launched. Let’s do a wishlist for these clones :)

Group

If you followed 200 top Twitter users in the world, it would become such a pain to keep track of your friends, build them into your own network, and exchange conversations, especially with those who matter the most to you. That’s why I really love the Group feature of TweetDeck. I think having a built-in group feature from the clone itself will make life easier for everyone. Of course, you can group people differently: friends, topics, location, etc.

API

I guess one of the key to Twitter success is due to its APIed applications. Without an API, there won’t be much that an external developer can do. Speaking of which, geeks are early adopters of microblogging. We’ve talked about APIs at length in my previous entries.

SMS/IM updates

Mobile phones are ubiquitous in Vietnam. I think Twitter’s success in Japan mostly comes from the density of mobile users, who don’t even use PCs nowadays. Either the clone allows free SMS updates, or provides an easy mechanism for tweeting on the mobile platform.

Almost all Vietnamese Internet users are on Yahoo Messenger, it’s also convenient to tweet and receive updates via the IM client.

Integration with Twitter

Having an isolated version of Twitter would mean eclipsing the global visibility of the Vietnamese micrblogging community, as pointed out by @lwsinclair. Integration with Twitter will not only connect this community with the Twitterverse/Twitterville, but also lure current Twitter users into trying the clone out.

Invitation

Invitation via Emails has become standard. However, as Tài Trần suggested, most Vietnamese users are now on Y!360, so there should be away to invite people in their friend list to join the clone. That, or plugging the clone into Y!Profile, which will in time transform itself into the focal point of Yahoo’s new strategy. The advantage of integrating with Yahoo! Profile lies in that it not only allows the clone to leverage the user’s data on Yahoo’s portfolio products, but also on other services where the users are present.

Customization

It’s play time. Many users still prefer the Web interface. In fact, Vietnamese users tend to enjoy customizing their homepage. They may t not be that technical, but they’re willing to learn how to do it. The point is presenting a choice before them. Power Twitter is an add-on that allows certain customizations on the profile page.

Cross-platform

The clone should allows users to take the conversation beyond its space. They may appear on Facebook (status), Yahoo! 360 (blast), other social networking sites, and even Yahoo Messenger’s status. Tài wants to keep his tweet within reach, but as Rick, H3 host, incomprehensible statuses that seem to be in a foreign language to your “other” friends may trigger curiosity, which in turn starts another conversation on the same topic but in a different context. It’s like talking to 20 people in 20 countries on the same topic. You get the idea.

Did I miss something?

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8 Responses to Which feature a Twitter clone should have?

  1. Bảo says:

    Sound great. But too good to be true :)

  2. Khanh Le says:

    We should stop calling them “Twitter clones”. We don't have to and should not clone something (because we will never do as good as them). We must open our mind and users should do it too.

  3. anhhung says:

    I doubt that. These wishlist features have been around Twitter for quite a while. Let's wait until all the 6 players fully come out and check them against this wishlist :)

  4. anhhung says:

    Do you have any suggestion? I think a clone is a clone, there's no need to disguise it with a beautiful name ;)

  5. TaiTran says:

    Nice coverage.

    The point I put on the table was “Simplicity at core, customization as an additional feature.” ;)

  6. anhhung says:

    Thanks, I was a bit surprised to see you two bringing along notes lolz. So I need to write them down here to check that I fully understand what you were talking about :D

  7. LockeVN says:

    Except the cross-platform, all above tasks are rather easy to be done, so I think “Too good to be true” is not 100% correct, technically.

    I'm wondering: even if “TwitterClone” has all that features, are they what our users need? And how can “TwitterClone” earn money?

    I think “TwitterClone” success in Vietnam depend on some non-technical key.

  8. Mark says:

    I agree with Lockevn. If we compare this list with our service, you will see we already have nearly 100% of these covered in our beta version today.
    The ‘non-technical key’ you refer to here, may just be the experience and business accumen of the founders.

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