When does “cool new features” transmute into “unwelcome feature creep”? Two of the online services that I use the most are the subject of rumours about new functionality - Flickr is apparently about to launch video support, and Skitch is to add Twitter features.
Personally, I’m pretty ambivalent about Flickr and video. I’ve never really suffered from the urge to take moving pictures, probably as a result of being subjected to too many dire and wobbly home videos of holidays over the years. And it’s not like there’s any shortage of online video sites in the first place - why build another YouTube?
But Skitch and Twitter, on the other hand, does seem to add value. I already use it at work as a quick way of sharing image edits, or annotations to a screen shot - the fact that the end results sit outside the firewall and are readily-linkable make it really flexible.
Now add Twitter to that mix, and the enhancement (I think) is actually to Twitter rather than Skitch. Twitter is beginning to take on the shape of something much more than just a cross between IM and a stream of consciousness - I can’t quite put my finger on what it is now, but it’s clear that there’s something beyond simply novelty value which has kept it popular. The subject of another post, when I get around to marshaling my thoughts.