Colin Devroe

Photographer. Podcaster. Blogger. Reverse Engineer.

Twitter isn’t going anywhere

January 23, 2019

Stephen Hackett, at 512 Pixels:

Regardless of all of that, I think it’s clear the leadership at Twitter has no idea what they are doing, and I think the network’s time is ticking away faster than ever.

Not to be contrarian but I disagree.

Update January 24, 2019: I must have misread Hackett’s post. I thought he was writing that Twitter wasn’t long for this world as a result of their leadership. But, based on this comment thread, it seems more that he meant that he wasn’t long for Twitter. My bad.

Taken cumulatively, Twitter’s leadership has always been objectively bad. The product decisions have been objectively bad. The policies and the enforcement of them have been objectively bad. In a way, Twitter’s leadership has tried everything they possibly can to kill the platform and the business. And yet it still exists.

Somehow Twitter has embedded itself into the world in such a way that I do not think it will go away. It is nearly an internet utility.

It is unlike the other social networks. Facebook has diversified itself enough (Instagram, Oculus, WhatsApp, Messenger, and so much more) that it can survive based on its breadth rather than its depth. But Twitter’s depth is what will save it. I think as of today it is an indispensable tool for politicians, journalists, organizations, and even celebrities to share their message.

So while individual users may get sick of the leadership, the product, the hate — as a whole it is only becoming more important. I don’t know exactly how it will stick around but I think it will.


manton says:

@cdevroe What I took away from @ismh‘s post was really that Twitter is “over” as a must-have social network. It could still be a good place for trending news but not where all communities need to be.

cdevroe says:

@manton With that analysis I completely agree. I think we’re seeing a return to interest and/or location based networks. The early web was about finding like-minded people in these little “rooms” in IRC or forums. Then everything coalesced in FB/Twitter. Recently I’m seeing a return to blogging and I think Mastodon’s federated approach is filling a need too. See It should be an interesting few years.

bradenslen says:

@manton @cdevroe But you still need your URL in Twitter to verify Indieweb ID credentials, don’t we?

simonwoods says:

@bradenslen Um… in what way? I use my domain + for IndieAuth.

bradenslen says:

@simonwoods Some of these logins seem to check and see if your domain is the one listed in your FB or Twitter or maybe MB profile. I’ve got several domains and I seem to be running out of social silos. I’m not sure what Indieweb dohickey uses it.

simonwoods says:

@bradenslen Hm, interesting. What pieces of IndieWeb tech are you using that don’t appear to work with I’m not sure if absolutely everything works with it but I have yet to test everything myself.

smokey says:

@bradenslen @simonwoods And in any event, I’d think that hard-coding a silo as the provider should be on the way out for IndieWeb services.

(In fact, reading IndieAuth setup seems like you can use any(?) service where you can link to your profile from your site and link back to your site from your profile, as well as simply using your PGP key?)

I like your definition of Twitter being an internet utility. It has a close resemblance to this other definition of it being a protocol:

bradenslen says:

@smokey Yeah that! 🙂 I’m running out of services with profiles. I’m about to eliminate Facebook, G+ is on the way out, that leaves Twitter and MB, but I have more domains than that and no PGP thingy.

I just find it a little ironic that we rely on these silos for verification right when we are quitting the silos. Seems odd.

smokey says:


I just find it a little ironic that we rely on these silos for verification right when we are quitting the silos. Seems odd.

Yes, I found that rather odd as well. I was so happy to see Manton implementing IndieAuth via, first for hosted and then for everyone, to help (accessibly) remove that limitation for people.


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