Twitter suspended outbound SMS to the United Kingdom this week:
Some SMS Perspective:
On Wednesday, we announced that Twitter has suspended outgoing SMS to our UK number. The blue in the chart above illustrates the percent of outgoing SMS we stopped sending. 2% of our user base consumed 4% of our outbound SMS over the UK number at a price which disproportionately impacted overall operational cost.
Twitter has been taking a bit of a beating over this, but when you examine the metrics it makes sense. Every feature consumes time, money and resources. Twitter is making a conscious decision to remove a costly feature that is used by a small number of users.
I'm left wondering at what point do you pull-the-plug on these sorts of things? Is there a rule-of-thumb or other equation that can help to inform these decisions? Seems sort of obvious that you'd want to direct your attention towards those things that most people use, and cut out all the seldom used items.
In other management circles they call this prioritization, staying focused, making sound business decisions. These are generally considered good things. In IT when you say, "This feature is used by less than 1% of the users" the response is often "we need to add more capabilities to that function." Almost never, "Maybe we should take that out as it gets in the way, and just clutters up the application for the majority of people."
Twitter pulling-the-plug in this instance makes total sense. I can think of tons of things that if you really examined your customer's behavior you would deep-six. This should happen a lot more.