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The Paradox of Instagram’s Twitter

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Within the last two days I saw a headline that is either amusing or tragic. The headline is that Instagram is creating a twitter clone, or even a Twitter competitor. This is amusing, or tragic, because Twitter and Facebook have always been competitors. You had the network of strangers that became friends, with Twitter, and the network of uni friends that became estranged years after graduating with Facebook. 


Both of them had chronological timelines with people conversing with each other. One was about events, pictures and more, and the other was about chatting, between tweetups. 

Facebook and Twitter Are Now the Same

The notion that Instagram would have a twitter clone, today, is ludicrous because Facebook and Twitter are the same thing. Facebook owns Instagram, so the notion that Instagram needs a competitor to Twitter is ironic, since Twitter and Facebook are now the same thing. I could develop the idea further but won’t.

The Rush to Rescue the Shipwrecked

Twitter is having a Titanic moment and nearby ships (social networking solutions) are rushing on to recover all the people in life boats or floating in the water. That rush is paradoxical, since it has expanded social media once again, to become a network of networks, rather than a monolith. 

The Fediverse

I think that the Fediverse offers the best solution because it offers plenty of instances that can focus either on specific niches, or just host accounts, and people can look for like-minded posts across the networks.

Contributions and Instance Specific Adverts

I saw something about people wanting to advertise on the Fediverse and I don’t think they should, especially not in the main feed. To do so would be to destroy what the fediverse is. A network of networks of people conversing. We can contribute financially to the instances we’re using, to help cover costs. For instances that are more popular, and more expensive to run the solution would be to have ads that show up only within that instance. It should be for the community to decide whether they want ads, or donation covered costs. 

Twitter and Facebook Are Clones Already

Seven or eight years ago when you looked at Twitter you would see twenty to thirty tweets with shortened URLs. Over the years individual tweets were given images, and animated gifs, and eventually videos. They even began to take up an entire screen height for just one tweet. Over the last decade and a half Twitter and Facebook became the same thing. The idea that Instagram is cloning Twitter, when Twitter cloned Facebook, and Jaiku, is absurd. 

Meta Chat Options

To illustrate how absurd the “Twitter clone” idea is look at Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and even Facebook. They’re all conversation tools, some for private groups, others for public groups, and others for friends, families, professional circles, hobby circles and more. Instagram Twitter is, yet another conversation tool. 

The Consequences

Twitter stopped having a unique selling point years ago. What made Twitter was the community. By destroying that community feeling Musk encouraged people to spread to other social networks. People are trying to clone Twitter, but most social apps are the same today. A timeline with people sharing videos, photos, articles and more. 

And Finally

Instagram is now part of Meta, and Meta destroyed its reputation without ever apologising for its mistakes. I will not use Instagram’s “twitter” for the simple reason that I do not use any Meta products because I do not trust them not to play social engineering experiments, yet again. Meta takes social networks, and turns them into boring glossy magazines, rather than networks of friends of friends. Facebook was demonstrated to be untrustworthy and never worked to fix its reputation. 

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