Twitter And Facebook Both Released Dedicated Devices That Flopped Hard
Today you can't even assault your mailman without getting called out for it five minutes later on Twitter. But back in 2009, the site and its mere 140-character posts were both relatively new and still baffling to many. To build hype, Twitter partnered with a company called Peek to create the creatively named TwitterPeek, "the world's first dedicated Twitter device." It would also be the world's last.
Peek, Inc."We need a design that says both 'impractical' and 'insufferable.'"
For a mere $99, plus $7.95 per month for data after half a year of ownership, you could buy a handheld device that allowed you to use Twitter and absolutely nothing else. Twitter envisioned a world wherein busy people would spend money solely to share their evergreen Jersey Shore jokes instead of waiting to get home and use the service for free on their personal computers, which humans still owned in those ancient days.
To somehow make it worse, the product was targeted at new users to help them become acquainted with Twitter. It wasn't marketed to avid Twitter users who might have somehow been a weird niche market. Shockingly, the demographic of Twitter neophytes with a willingness to spend 100 bucks on a single app was nonexistent, and the moronic ploy was obliterated by the emerging smartphone industry. By 2012 Peek was dead after a brief foray trying to sell something called "the genius cloud" to Asian phone companies.
Facebook observed their rival's failure and, having learned an important lesson, decided to fail in a bold new direction. In 2013 they teamed up with AT&T and HTC to bring indifferent consumers the HTC First, a Facebook-oriented smartphone. It used a new interface called Facebook Home, which let users quickly see and post Facebook updates. You know, for people who think the five seconds it takes to open the Facebook app on a normal phone constitute an unbearable eternity.
HTCPlus it keeps your profile picture at the constant ready, lest you forget who burdened you with this terrible purchase.