As a professional media gazer, I have noticed many people leave Twitter over the last six months, amid the platform’s chaos. But many have decided to return in some capacity.
I love Mastodon, but I am not a writer needing to care about large audiences. The nerdy, club atmosphere of the fediverse is just what I’m looking for. Meta offers a huge audience of unparalleled size in the US market (across Instagram, Whatsapp, and Facebook).
Ostensibly, Meta cares about rivaling Twitter as a news source and a hang out spot for the journalists breaking it — and is willing to make product decisions to make it happen. Anyone remember Notify? Anyone know about Notes? (https://www.techmeme.com/221207/p17#a221207p17 , https://www.techmeme.com/221213/p25#a221213p25) And then their infamous decision long ago, to change users’ default post visibility to “Public” was also fed by a desire to chase Twitter’s more open model.
The last six months have proved one thing: journalists are willing to leave Twitter and try out new things. Whether they remain at new destinations depends on: 1) audience size, 2) whether they can view posts in real-time chronological order, in an information-dense layout (ie a multi-column view like Tweetdeck). Mastodon fully satisfies the second item, and I wrote a killer thread on how to build lists in December.
Meta fulfills the first requirement — audience size — but comes nowhere close to meeting the second.
The same is all true for Microsoft’s LinkedIn
If these social networks actually care about seizing the opportunity that Twitter has gifted them — to become a leading breaking news source — they will need to suck it up and offer a Tweetdeck-clone (they could even have ads (which Twitter does not have in Tweetdeck), and it would still be enough).