Originally posted on Gigaom:
We’ve been writing a lot lately about the transformation that Twitter is going through — one that has seen it shift from being a kind of real-time information utility to being a global media entity, and how that has led the company to restrict access to its API, in order to control as much of the content flowing through its network as possible. But nothing sums this transition, and the picture it paints of Twitter’s future, better than two recent events: In the first, the company abruptly yanked Tumblr’s ability to connect to Twitter’s friend-finder API, and in the second it bragged about how positive its recent partnership with NBC was around the Summer Olympics. Welcome to the new Twitter world order.
The Tumblr news didn’t come as that much of a surprise to anyone that has been following recent events, since Twitter has already cut off other apps such as Instagram. In fact, Matt Buchanan at Buzzfeed wrote a post on Wednesday about how the blog network could be the next target for Twitter and within a matter of hours Tumblr lost the ability to connect to Twitter.
In the case of Instagram, Twitter’s removal of those connection rights — which allowed users to find and connect with any Twitter followers who also use the photo-sharing app — seemed as though it might have been driven in part by a desire to play hardball with Instagram’s new owner, Facebook. But Tumblr isn’t owned by a competitor: If anything, the blog network has been a close partner of Twitter’s, up to and including building in support for the newly introduced “Twitter cards” that show expanded information about tweets.