Going down the Twitter memory hole

M.G Siegler on Mastodon:

Yes, yes, the network is under immense strain as people flee the Elon strain infecting Twitter. But come on, there are folks who really believe this is going to replace, or even stand alongside Twitter, as a massively scaled social network? I call bullshit. While it’s impressive that millions of users have apparently given Mastodon a try, the product is far too slapdash and clunky to keep folks engaged

I’m surprised M.G. can’t remember back to the early years of Twitter, because I know he was there and suffered just as many fail whales, lost posts, and crappy errors as I did.

Also worth remembering: as Ben Thompson has pointed out, by the objective standards of modern internet corporations, Twitter failed. It’s too small to be an interesting scale play and offers no advantages to advertisers over Facebook. Advertisers used it because they don’t like to put all their eggs in a single basket. Journalists used it because all the journalists in the world are on it, and we’re gossipy little monkeys who like to show off to all our friends.

That said, this oversized profile with media professionals meant that Twitter had an oversized influence on the media (and so political) landscape.

But, but, it’s not a product, it’s a protocol. Yeah, that’s a nice thing to say. And to believe in. But I truly believe the ship has sadly sailed for such idealism in this space.

I disagree. I don’t think that M.G. or any of the very comfortable Silicon Valley folk who have made the uber-capitalist VC world their home really understand quite how much the ground is shifting. Their world is drawing to a close. Something new is happening, and not being beholden to massive corporations is part of it. It will be interesting to see where it goes.

One Comment

  1. Wow, your mention of the Fail Whale took me back to when I first tried Twitter in around 2009. Frankly, I’m amazed that the service has survived this long. It would perhaps be fitting if its end is filled with journalists, tech-bros and ‘thought leaders’ howling into the void because everyone else has left.

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