Twitter just announced that it is killing off its smart screen and box apps. Some of you may not have realized these even existed or believe they had died an ignominious death years ago. But it was not long ago that many were touting this as the next big thing in building community around the act of watching live television.
Anyone who tried out these apps found they were a pale imitation of the second-screen experience of using your phone or iPad. The reality is – and has always been – that people do not want a lot of things blocking the picture. The interfaces were clunky – the experience really only allowed for passive reading of tweets (anyone who shudders at using a directional cursor to enter their passwords on a smart TV or smart device can imagine how difficult it would be to tweet.
This death is more than just a specific failed initiative for Twitter. It was also thought to be the starting point of rolling out Twitter to many more non-mobile, non-desktop experiences. But as Twitter ages, it’s clear that people are interested using the service in very specific instances and not for others.