Quit Making New Social Networks

Facebook and Twitter have won. It’s over. Despite people claiming they’re not “open” or their privacy issues “suck”, this is a good thing.

It is good because it has solved one of our longstanding problems as a species: our need to connect.

Now, if I wanted to quickly send a message to someone I’d of course want to use a system that is beautiful and cohesive, one that works as it should (according to its “essence”, as Walter Isaacson has put it). But guess what, I don’t want to have to look around on 20 different sites to see which one is the flavor of the month and see if that particular person is a part of it. Facebook and Twitter have won because they’re ubiquitious.

This is different from most tech issues where the use of a device is singular. Only you use your smartphone and it doesn’t matter what anyone else in the world has; that phone can make calls, text messages, and picture/video messages to anyone else in the world who has a smartphone.This is not true for social networking. It is completely dependent on the number of participants in the network.

For instance, I just sent a group message to 7 of my college roommates using Facebook. It was as easy as, pull up the existing thread, type my message, click send. At no point did I have to wonder about what network they were a part of or any of the details of sending it. This matter of sending a message to a group of friends is solved.

So forget Path, Stamped, and all other “new” social networks that come about. This is a problem that’s been solved and doesn’t need reinventing or redefining.

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