Who’s leaving Twitter?

No one.

Then why is there an “exodus” out of the network? Those are outliers.

In a brilliant take, Ashish Chandrakar explains this nuance:

Who Is Going To Leave Twitter? Not Many As Platform’s Network Effect Is Driven By An Unique Triad That Is Tough To Replicate

Secondly, this inherent two-sidedness reflects in the way Twitter interactions are shaped. Active users seek validation by confronting an outgroup and getting amplified by the ingroup. In the process, some users rise head and shoulders above others and attract the attention of all sides as ‘representatives’ of their object of attention. 

Twitter evolved as the only platform, where the two-sided aspect of demand and supply, production and consumption, could not just be satisfied by but in fact, avidly promoted by the same set of users. This has not been the case for other platforms

Here’s another:

Facebook has few overzealous, over-sharing friends and relatives and several passive ‘likers’. Instagram has come to be dominated by celebrities sharing content and talking to each other, but everyone else seems to sitting in the bleachers observing a parallel world. Video platforms like YouTube and TikTok also have clearly delineated production and consumption roles, with very few individuals either capable of or interested in straddling both roles.

What is my own personal content consumption pattern?

I prefer long forms to read; inoreader serves as a firehose. I run an automated channel (The Curious Loop) to post the most interesting curated content.

Twitter is for amplification.

Telegram for personal and group chats.

Most users are “invested” in Twitter because it helps them to sustain the idea of “working in the public eye”. Follower counts, likes, retweets or “impressions” are “measurable quantities” which gives an “inherent sense of worth”, even if it’s virtual. Tweetstorms or “threads” fail to convey context. Conversations are chaotic without order. Yet, Twitter offers a “two-way street” and amplifies “outrageous content” to promote engagement.

Twitter ends up getting clicks or permanent engagement, because it has now become part of the lexicon and lingo. Just as they associate search with Google, a press release from a “celebrity” has been replaced by a “tweet”. These are called “bytes” in the journalistic parlance, and nothing more. From a journalistic perspective, Twitter is a terrible means of filtering the firehose, even if the search offers some Boolean. Hashtags are manipulated for “trending” and there are specialist companies offering the “services”. Professionals associate tweeting with “forming connections and networks”, but in effect, you are setting up keywords for advertisers to target you!

The myth of unpaid labour has now become a reality. Blogging, on the other hand, is slow, “boring” without instant feedback, but each post written here (or on other blogs) enriches the writer. I have embarked on “self-improvement” as the notable goal, and I am delighted to state that I have gained considerable “personal riches”. They are not measured in monetary value, but in self-worth. I also got lucky to interact with “old-school” individuals, where interaction adds considerable personal value and opens up a new avenue of self-learning.

Twitter is here to stay for the immediate future. Does it build connections or add value? You can interpret and justify this question that best suits your confirmation biases. From a technology “point-of-view”, it remains one of the most inefficient means of communication. For a privacy stand-point, it is an ongoing disaster. From a public relations perspective, it is a circus ring. From a geopolitical perspective, Twitter is a playground for information warfare. There’s no one way to push through the “singular narrative” for something that we consider an extended aspect of our online personas.

Another interesting perspective from the linked write up:

Secondly, this inherent two-sidedness reflects in the way Twitter interactions are shaped. Active users seek validation by confronting an outgroup and getting amplified by the ingroup. In the process, some users rise head and shoulders above others and attract the attention of all sides as ‘representatives’ of their object of attention. 

The users of Mastodon, another large collection of one-sided influential voices, recently realized that the added ‘feature’ of decentralization actually led to discretion and potential privacy issues. The one-sidedness seems to have already morphed into a competition whose maximalist conformance or suspension rules are way harsher than anything Twitter imposed.

These shouldn’t have “evolved” like this. Mastodon has been for long, and there have been bouts of “resurgence” (or leaving Twitter for something else). The fact that they drape their inadequacies in PR speak is abhorrent. Users don’t have to commit harakiri to get to the point. Everyone needs a medium to communicate, but “appeals” to keep servers afloat, and “moderation” will almost always go unheeded. That robs the utility of your online presence.

Choose wisely. Shift to Telegram.

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