We love Twitter. Who would have thought that those little 140-character messages flying around the internet could provoke so much discussion? Tweets have become central to online communication and Twitter has achieved unprecedented levels of popularity through its beautiful simplicity. But this simplicity is under threat – the pressures of shareholders and the potential for abuse has brought about features that make Twitter a slightly messier place to be.
@Glinner Twitter wants to be Facebook. Facebook wants to be Twitter. Both are turning into a grey stooge.
— Craig Grannell (@CraigGrannell) September 1, 2014
Many of Twitter’s contemporaries have the same problem – in trying to attract and keep more users, they sacrifice the simplicity that made them popular in the first place.
Add to this the fact that Twitter has been going since 2006, and it’s reasonable to assume that it’s not the edgy new upstart on the scene any more. So who is?
A couple of new messaging apps have caught our attention recently, one of which we mentioned in our recent blog on emojis. Emojli is a messaging service without words, allowing you only emojis to get your point across.
While it may not allow us to convey our deepest thoughts and feelings, Emojli does have a few unique advantages. It’s ad-free and guaranteed to work globally since it relies not on region-specific languages, but on the universal language of pictures.
We’re going to be playing around with Emojli and can’t wait to see how it develops.
Another new messaging app creating a buzz is Somebody, by artist and writer Miranda July. What makes Somebody special is that while you send your messages digitally, the actual delivery is very much analogue.
The app does not deliver your message to your intended recipient – instead it sends it to the Somebody user nearest them. That person then delivers your message face-to-face, giving your recipient the benefit of interacting with a human rather than a digital device.
While Somebody has the feel of a social experiment rather than a practical service, it will be fascinating to watch how people use it at various events and designated hotspots over the coming months.
Neither of these apps will be challenging Twitter anytime soon. But the fact that they are being developed and used shows an appetite for new ways to communicate. This should give Twitter food for thought as they consider new features to keep its audience interested.