Twitter, Threads™ and the microblogging shitshow

shinobu

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We've all heard about this. Twitter shitting the bed, and all the while a bunch of alternatives are vying for power.
Mastodon, Bluesky, and now Threads, are three big names, but there's others out there.

I'm pretty much an outsider to twitter - I made an account and forgot about it. The only good parts of it (the reason why I joined) were the artists and the hackers/software people. So it's kind of annoying that this whole war of platforms is happening, since it makes everything pretty hard for me to seek out interesting content. I'm personally waiting for the dust to settle.
But I think the key point that this whole situation tells us is just how much greed fucks everything up. When making the most amount of cash becomes the target, the entire product suffers. Most people just want to sit down on their computer or on their phone and read interesting posts or see interesting art, but normies flood every site with memes and political discussion, and everything is optimized for Growth™

So, what is everyone's thought on this microblogging world?
 
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Regal

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The value of social media is/was that "everyone is on it." The fragmentation of Twitter into multiple services means that isn't true anymore. I don't want to have to juggle 10 different accounts to talk to my friends and follow cool people.

My friend group of ~10 people is mostly tech folks in their 30's. They aren't even on social media. We all chat in a variety of group chats and share what we're doing through the day and stuff like that. I'm already annoyed by having to juggle Whatsapp, Discord, Facebook Messenger, Signal, Telegram, and iMessage/SMS.

My prediction is that we're at the end of an era. Everything is going to just continue to be fragmented. That's probably good for privacy and security, but the experience is rapidly becoming not worth it.

inb4 someone calls me old

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Green Tea Ice Cream
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When making the most amount of cash becomes the target, the entire product suffers.
Sure, but is the issue with Twitter that it needs to produce infinite cash or is it that it needs to produce literally any tangible profit year-on-year? From the data that I can find right away, Twitter doesn't, usually, make a profit in any given year. It's certainly had a few good ones but it looks to largely be a money pit. I've heard >redditcostanzayeahrightsmirk and Youtube are similarly expensive. Lately, I've been feeling even more strongly than usual that these services are only one or two steps removed from a Ponzi scheme.

What they seem to do is gather huge amounts of investment every year to fund operations. To, hopefully, be able to make these investments worth while they will likely need more investment next year. Eventually, in all likelihood, the investors get weary and start to demand whoever is holding the bag return their money or generate profit. Once the free money dries up, the whole system starts to come down. It feels like we're finally headed downhill.

Are any of the Web 2.0 wunderkind companies profitable besides Meta? Are we approaching a Dot-com style event?
So, what is everyone's thought on this microblogging world?
Just run your own blog. Use Neocities, Github, or get a VPS. It's free or very cheap. It's easy. Make your dumb status updates look however you want. Use a scrolling marquee. Change my cursor into a penguin with a gun. Play a loud rap song automatically when the index page loads.
 
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power gem

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when twitter first came out the general sentiment that i remember was mocking the idea of microblogging and saying stuff like "who would want to read a bunch of posts about someones lunch?" at some point major news networks started showing twitter tickers in what was obviously an inorganic marketing push. people bought into it and here we are now. i can't say i'm sad to see twitter dying. there were a few posters i liked on there but i'm not going to create an account just to follow them. my naive hope is that the fragmentation of social media will push people (at least the interesting ones) away from that ecosystem and towards personal blogs, forums and other venues that encourage long-form content with minimal interference from The Algorithm. in reality they'll probably hop onto the next social media site that comes up with a good gimmick, but i can dream. in other news i've just started a new site called Lunchr, it's like twitter but you are only allowed to post about your lunch. if you mention politics, someone drives to your house and shoots you in the head. PM me if you want an invite.
 
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I believe microblogging is smart and great for the general internet usage of a smart person. Microblogs are a great way to find interesting people pretty fast and follow them on better mediums. The only rule to microblogs is not wasting time on algorithms if there are any.
i'm legit having fun in a tiny, overlooked cluster of fediverse instances
neat, i like fediverse as idea but not enough to look out for instances that are good.
 
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the only right way to do microblogging is to schizopost on your own self hosted pleroma instance with zero followers
"Posers! i hated Zoidberg before it was popular!"
 
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Ardea

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Somehow I've managed to avoid ever using twitter. I never saw the appeal of it when it came out and only grew to resent it more when it became another tool for enforcing the "current thing". Even federated alternatives don't really interest me because I think the whole premise is obnoxious. I was entertained when Musk took over, however. Not because I'm a big fan of his but because it was clearly a big upset for the cabal.

Never used facebook, won't use threads and still won't use twitter. I think it's noteworthy that Meta never tried competing with Twitter in any serious way until Musk took over.
 
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Taleisin

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From the data that I can find right away, Twitter doesn't, usually, make a profit in any given year. Lately, I've been feeling even more strongly than usual that these services are only one or two steps removed from a Ponzi scheme.

What they seem to do is gather huge amounts of investment every year to fund operations. To, hopefully, be able to make these investments worth while they will likely need more investment next year.
I'm pretty certain most of the profit is "off the books" so to speak. Twitter is payed by companies for reach and visibility, payed for big data, payed by propagandists for algorithm manipulation. Shady dealings go on in the background all the time and if that's not twitter's main source of income, I'd be very surprised.
 
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It turns out that most people don't have all that much to say. Even on this board, which I wouldn't classify as "normies" per se, most users post maybe a couple times per week. And that's fine for the expectations of a forum, both for the host and the users. We show up, check out the active threads, maybe shitpost in chat a little bit and then log off. This is presumably enough traffic/revenue for the host to be worth keeping the site running. Social media has a few problems that make this untenable.

1) Discussion vs. Broadcasting. When I post on this board, I do so with the expectation that it'll be read by another human and if I'm lucky they may even seriously consider my opinion. I do not post with the secret hope that one of my posts will "go viral" and so many people will be impressed by my brilliance that they'll encourage me to start my own show/business/whatever whereupon they will shower me with money or that it will be seen by and connect me to a powerful person who can give me something I want. The one-to-many nature of social media makes it much more effective at broadcasting than discussion and that's what most people use it for. And that's why its so toxic. They're not really there to talk. They're putting on a show or a live-action job application and by responding with anything other than affirmation you are interrupting their show and heckling them. Since I'm a normie and not a fucking personal brand I have no incentive to post on social media.

2) Growth. Shareholders didn't invest in social media companies for them to make just enough money to keep the lights on. They always want more growth and more profit (or any profit at all in Twitter's case lmao). They always want more people staring at the app for longer and longer. This currently manifests as algorithmic feeds and the infinite scroll. But there's a problem: If most people don't post, where does the content come from that keeps people scrolling. Well now we know the answer and it seems obvious in retrospect. For a while it came from a handful of mentally ill internet addicts who can't stfu about politics and post about it 24 hours a day. But even they have been overtaken by the bots generating an avalanche of boilerplate trash, shilling scam products, and astroturfing. Insert Dead Internet Theory here.

The fediverse is the closest thing to a solution we have right now and I'm cautiously optimistic about it. I'm not sure the current incarnation of it will take off, but some form of decentralization seems to be the end-point. Small nodes with people you frequently interact with and can be curated/moderated to ban bad actors.
 
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I'm pretty certain most of the profit is "off the books" so to speak.
With all due respect, if this was true it would be a significant crime. From 2013 until this year Twitter was a public company and had to make public financial disclosures as a result. If they're hiding billions of dollars of profits off the books we're probably talking about one of the largest frauds in history.

For a while now, I've been trying to live my life by the words, "how do you know?" It's not something I always live up to. I'm sure that, even here, I've said some things that are just me speculating as if I did know. I really do believe in it's value though. If you're pretty certain that Twitter is hiding profits then how do you know?
 
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InternetGeist

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That is why Fediverse is a good model to follow. The tricky part about microblogging is that there can't be too many alternatives existing at the same time compared to forums that usually have a specific theme (or at least different boards) with a specific set of target users. Decentralization is the best solution we have so far for the fragmentation of Twitter, where users are free to choose instances that align with their ideologies and interact with anyone who is part of the network without the fuss of monitoring multiple accounts. The current complaint about the Fediverse lacking content is a consequence of both being spoiled by the algorithm to the extent they refuse to invest time in discovering what they are interested in reading and departure from the concept of microblogging since most users on Twitter only use it as an information source for the celebrities they follow. Posting as a new user is just shouting to the void and it is unlikely to get any genuine interaction unless you are lucky enough to establish a friend circle.
 
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赤い男

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We've all heard about this. Twitter shitting the bed, and all the while a bunch of alternatives are vying for power.
Mastodon, Bluesky, and now Threads, are three big names, but there's others out there.

I'm pretty much an outsider to twitter - I made an account and forgot about it. The only good parts of it (the reason why I joined) were the artists and the hackers/software people. So it's kind of annoying that this whole war of platforms is happening, since it makes everything pretty hard for me to seek out interesting content. I'm personally waiting for the dust to settle.
But I think the key point that this whole situation tells us is just how much greed fucks everything up. When making the most amount of cash becomes the target, the entire product suffers. Most people just want to sit down on their computer or on their phone and read interesting posts or see interesting art, but normies flood every site with memes and political discussion, and everything is optimized for Growth™

So, what is everyone's thought on this microblogging world?
IDK, i'm starting to like threads tbh, i still preffer agora, but in comparasion as twitter isn't thaaaaat bad, at least for now.
 
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vulonkaaz

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my honest opinion about Threads:
  • ugliest logo ive ever seen
  • people keep talking about it non stop since the last few days very annoying
  • so sketchy with data collection the app is literally banned on my continent
  • i don't like zuck's face
 
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Shu

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I'm a big sports fan, so, the twitter format isn't without value to me. Being a voracious follower of hockey and football and whatever, I like to have up-to-the-minute news on a lot of the things pertaining to that.

Beyond that, though? I just don't think it brings value to my life. I need to be on social media for my profession, to an extent, and that's a part of my career I don't enjoy at all. You see so much of everyone, conversations beaten to death, i dunno, I just don't like it. Feels like a big battleground for the culture war in a lot of ways, and that's really what gets me completely sick of microblogging. Doesn't fulfill me like message boards do.
 
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sleepwalker

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Twitter has been handled so poorly recently that it would be hard to doubt if Elon came out and said it was all a ploy to rid the world of the bird app. Of course that isn't what happened, and he likely brought some recklessness that started the collapse of its house of cards. With higher interest rates making big tech's growth model unviable, most tech companies are probably sweating. I wouldn't even be surprised if even Google is starting to get antsy.

That aside for a Twitter Killer backed by Facebook to not have either the same or comparable functionality to Twitter on launch is pathetic. Twitter's a walled Garden right now, and Threads could pretend to give a shit and let it be accessed by the public but instead, Meta is so desperate for data to sell that it still requires an account. It's like they aren't serious about taking Twitter's slice of the pie. It feels like Instagram.

At least it's not all bad news, Twitter and Facebook have stagnated in both platform development and management. Some competition would be nice for consumers in these markets. And hey! If they do collapse smaller places (like this forum) can poach some of the users!
 
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Twitter's a walled Garden right now
so is pinterest and tumblr
so no endangerment i see

i thought tumblr will take over, but it is too LGBT+ at times, romantic quirky and too "in the feels", -yet schizo and therefore, un-marketable, too (am i wrong?)
 
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