I DID NOT EXPECT to spend nearly all of my social networking time on Dalton Caldwell's App.net but I am. I don't expect millions to come into that zone but it doesn't matter.
What does matter is I'm among the first million people to use this new ecosystem. What matters more is Twitter is prodding people to emigrate with every change made to the Twitter API.
Because Twitter is peeing in its pool of developers people are voting with their screens. Some very clever developers have abandoned work with third party Twitter apps. This has started a slow but steady flight of clever people from Twitter.
Twitter has lost its way. It is trying to become the omnipresent bottom third of your television screens. It is trying to help old media institutions into a new media broadcast model. This means forcing users (and developers building clients) to use new embed codes. It means hiding RSS feeds. It means changing how people can search Twitter.
Twitter's founders had a vision but those founders no longer run the company. Back in 2006, you might not see @ev tweeting, but you'd find him listening to Twitter's main users and developers. As Ben Brooks explains, Twitter has squashed a lot of innovation:
- The offficial Twitter iOS app started as a third-party app. Twitter wants to kill competing iOS apps.
- The ubiquitous @reply, used not only on Twitter but as web shorthand, was not invented by Twitter.
- Those hashtags, originally part of Jaiku, were not invented by Twitter.
I like the community of friends I've discovered on Twitter. But I feel like Twitter's bitch. I don't think Twitter itself is innovative but a lot of the people I follow tweet innovative things.
Looking down through my Twitterstream, I see most of my tweets come from Dabr (a lightning-fast web page) or from Carbon (a Windows Phone client)
A lot of the Irish tweeting class never saw Twitter in 2007. They don't know Old Twitter and they're happy in an ecosystem where they can nibble on news in 140 character chunks. They like hang with Beliebers and hearing about celebrity parties going bad.
But for me, I'd rather the look and feel of Twitter in 2006 and that's why I'm hanging out on App.net.
Change is in the air and it is good.
Ben Brooks -- "Twitter's API Changes" on Brooks Review, August 16, 2012.