Am I the only one who is really upset about Twitter’s acquisition of We Are Hunted??
In case you aren’t familiar with WeAreHunted.com, it was basically the best music discovery app out there. The site combed the web using machine learning to aggregate the top 100 artists that music blogs and social media outlets were talking about. This was updated weekly or so, and kept its users on the cutting edge of the best emerging music.
Wonderful, right? Well Twitter thought so too, and quietly acquired the company late 2012 according to Cnet (on a related note, searching for anything Twitter related is incredibly frustrating because of all the me-too sites propagating any news story).
My beef with the deal? If you want to alienate your fans, follow Twitter’s shady example. I personally had NO idea that We Are Hunted had been acquired until the site was shut down (likely for technical reasons, morphing the site into the new #music app, etc). I don’t have a long list of complaints, but I am seriously questioning this strategic move for the following reasons:
- Twitter shut down the site for almost two months, leaving dedicated fans out to dry. These people are the thought leaders for new music, and you want to have them use your music application. Two months is long enough that those fans will go elsewhere for their new music and start forming new habits. And no, I do not care what Ryan Seacrest thinks about the app. You may have a lot of celebrity friends, Twitter, but you are totally missing the point that music discovery isn’t about finding what is mega-hyped by record labels. That is what radio is for.
- My favorite aspect of We Are Hunted was that they made it easy to save your favorite songs into growing playlists and share them with others. With the site shutting down, all that information will be gone. They graciously whispered about ‘grabbing your favorites’ on their website, but it feels like getting kicked to the street still half naked after a one night stand of hot, passionate aural sex. I’m sure there would have been some technical challenges to exporting our playlists to other services (…including your own?), however, I am really not a fan of clicking on the 200 links you gave me and weeding through all the similarly tagged remixed versions of songs just to get the original songs saved on Soundcloud. And over 10% of my playlist was unavailable. :-/
- Most of Twitter is shit. Maybe I am just a crotchety old mid-20s something who is too used to Facebook, but the limited interactions I’ve had with Twitter have left me feeling like I just inhaled paint thinner. Or as CEO Dick Costolo calls it, “sacrosanct magic.” Ok, ok, following republican national debates through Twitter ensued with great hilarity, but still… I would like to support my bold claim with a leaked report from Gawker: according to an “insider”, the company has lost a net $93.6 million since 2010. And they have had 3 different CEOs in 3 years, indicating management problems.
My conclusion from all of this is that Twitter better blow my mind away when they unveil their new music app. They have left a bitter taste in my mouth, and while I am willing to try out what they create, I am quite apprehensive about it. I just hope it isn’t some mutilated version of the app that made me love new music.