Twitter has been dominating headlines in the tech blogosphere and beyond in recent days, and for the most part the tone has not been glowing. Specifically, the company seems to be making more aggressive steps toward controlling its API, which could have quite negative effects for the independent startups that have built their businesses around the microblogging service.
One of these examples has played out with StockTwits, the stock market and investment information service headed up by longtime finance and tech industry player Howard Lindzon. Earlier this week, Twitter rolled out the ability to track stock tickers on the site when they’re preceded by the U.S. dollar symbol — aka cashtags — which is something that was pioneered by StockTwits years ago. In a blog post, Lindzon publicly called out the launch as a “hijacking” of StockTwits’ feature.
The whole situation is made even more compelling by the fact that Lindzon sold off his personal investment in Twitter’s private stock one week prior to the launch of cashtags. He’s not the only startup CEO to scale back his involvement in Twitter recently: Today it was confirmed that Flipboard CEO Mike McCue has departed Twitter’s board of directors after a year and a half of service there, reportedly in part because of Twitter’s changing position toward the API ecosystem.
Interesting times, yes? In light of all this, it was good to speak with Lindzon directly about the situation and hear more about what’s gone on. He gave TechCrunch TV a call via Skype. Watch the video embedded above to hear about what he knew about Twitter’s strategy when he decided to sell his stock, where StockTwits plans to go from here, and what companies he’s planning on investing in now that he’s cashed out of Twitter.