Are You Big Enough To Be Anti Social?

Despite social media still being the de-facto buzzword in all things digital it seems that some still don’t get it. Not just your uncle Cedric either, I’m talking about people who’re actually in the business.

A couple of the social media big boys have been anti social recently. Digg is currently bent over nanny karma’s knee getting spanked whilst Twitter is still waiting for daddy to find out that they’ve shat in his slippers.

Digg’s currently suffering a well documented drop in traffic because of a radical redesign (and rebuild). Their latest version has, in an attempt to increase socialness, stripped out many social features. Users no longer feel the same loyalty, no longer get “frontpage points” on their profiles, no longer can see what their friends are commenting on or submitting. Users have lost enthusiasm and desire to evangelise about the site.

In Digg’s defence, they are starting to make changes. I believe they should, with the data and sentiment available to them, come back from this blip.

Twitter made a change with #newtwitter which removes the source link from tweets on twitter.com. It is still available through the Twitter API. It still shows up on apps. It’s still a kick in the plums to developers who no longer get links on tweets from twitter.com in exchange for their efforts. Apps by these developers have helped make Twitter as big as it is today. Twitter clients added a level of functionality and usability which made tweeting much easier, informative and addictive.

Shame really, but Twitter are ubiquitous enough to get away with being antisocial in their own home. Developers will no longer get their Twitter clients found through the curiosity of new users on twitter.com. Twitter clients are now challenged with finding endorsement through other channels.

Twitter get away with it because most of their current users are entirely unaffected by it.

Twitter has become a standard channel of communication and Digg is a hugely popular website. Both belong to socialmedia and yet both have had accusations of being antisocial due to recent changes.

What it means for you

If your website or service is due to have an overhaul / release a new version, you have to ask yourself the question:

Am I big enough to be antisocial?

3 comments on “Are You Big Enough To Be Anti Social?

  1. Good post Andrew.

    It does seem to work out that the more social sites are increasing their power, the more they are turning away from their core values. I’m not really a huge user of digg myself, but I am of twitter. It’s been interesting to see how they are trying to flex their muscles, now that the user base has grown so much. It seems that is one of the key scaling issues that all social sites have – once they get to a size where they need to start making back the money invested (which is pretty large) they have to look at ways of monetizing that go against their initial principles.

    I wonder what will be next for sites like LinkedIn?

    j

  2. It’s a shame about the change on Twitter, as I always liked to see what tools people were using to tweet from, in case there was something new and different I wanted to try.

    As for Digg? Well, I do love using the site, but it’s really a shame that every time Digg changes something, they make the site less social. You can’t even communicate with other people ON the site! Not even to send individual direct messages to other users. Insanity.

  3. Twitter.com sucks. The only reason they have gotten the growth they have is because of third party tools. Like 75-percent of Twitter usages is from those tools, not the web interface. So it seems a bit myopic to kill that feature. I agree with Amy.

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