The last thing Twitter needs is the ability to hyperlink text

Let's face it: Twitter doesn't let you hyperlink text, it doesn't thread conversations and, despite a redesign late last year, it still doesn't showcase video and photos as well as, say, that 845 million member social network that's about to go public. And Mike Brown, director of corporate development at Twitter, thinks its time for the microblogging service to drop its "command line" style in favor of something more contemporary.

(Dave Copeland, 'Twitter Executive Says Site's Interface Needs An Overhaul', Read Write Web, March 6, 2012)

Amazing how many people, even—especially—tech journalists, have been getting it wrong. Twitter and Facebook aren't targeting the same audience. What made Twitter so phenomenally successful was a combination of two things:

  • the 140-character limit means you have to focus on concision, meaning your audience can quickly get the point you want to get across;

  • the text-only approach means it's easy to tweet anything, anywhere—increasingly directly form your mobile phone.

Trying—and necessarily failing—to ape Facebook's 'entertainment for the masses' approach, admittedly more successful if sheer number are what you're concerned with, would set Twitter on a sure course for failure.