No, it’s not lists. Facebook has already had those for over a year now (of which we featured in I’m on Facebook–Now What??? when it first came out). What has me excited is the hiring of a new employee today. Josh Elman, previously the Platform Program Manager for Facebook and former Senior Product Manager at LinkedIn, today joined Twitter as the 3rd Product manager hired at the growing company. What has me excited? He knows platforms and he truly understands the vision of Facebook – this is a huge hit on Facebook and huge win for Twitter. This is a guy with serious experience, something that has had me concerned in the past for Twitter.
I mentioned before any idea to the contrary that Twitter is trying to be like Facebook is a lie. The fact is Twitter has to be like Facebook to compete and grow. The only other option Twitter has is to sell, and we know they’re not looking to do that. What better than hiring top talent directly from the competitor you’re trying to be like? Josh Elman was one of Facebook’s best – he was there when Facebook went profitable. He knows this stuff.
As a developer on the Facebook platform, I’ve had the opportunity to work with Josh, as have many other developers. He was one of our primary points of contact, and after writing FBML Essentials, Dave Morin, the man in charge of Facebook’s Connect platform, immediately introduced me to Josh for reference and we have kept in contact since. I was always amazed at his vision for things, and his friendly attitude towards the developers working on the platform. He did a lot for Facebook. I was really sad to see him go.
Now I get to turn to Twitter and see what he will do there. Josh Elman is one of the single biggest hires for Twitter in a long time, and I can’t wait to see what happens. With him at the helm of Product Manager, will we see Twitter grow profitable? Will we see a stronger developer platform product? Will we see more Facebook-like features? What weaknesses will Twitter seek out?
I’m finally excited about something again at Twitter. Josh is a great addition and I can’t wait to see what happens.