Twitter And WhatsApp, Sitting In A Tree, C-O-P-Y-I-N-G
It's no big reveal to say that quite a lot of people have, use and enjoy Facebook. These people - particularly the ones who are relatively new to the internet and barely manage to grasp the site's basics - like the way it works. They like how easy it is to share content, they adore how simple it is to update their friends and family on what they are up to, they appreciate the straightforward way in which they can stumble upon things their friends and family have chosen to share. Facebook, for the most part, just works, which is why it has become so Earthtakeoveringly popular.
But other services do other things better. Twitter, for example, is a hundred million times more effective at capturing the collective attitudes of our species at any one time. Due to the popularisation of the hashtag, which many will understandably find a confusing concept at first, Twitter can speak for us on a global level while, admittedly, failing to capture our imagination quite as much on a personal level. WhatsApp, meanwhile, is an increasingly popular mobile messaging tool that was recently purchased by Facebook. Many argue it is a huge improvement over Facebook Messenger.
While Facebook haven’t been above borrowing the odd Twitter feature, the latter can be just as bad; this most recent update is their most unsubtle Facebook-isation yet. The change in question is the position of the box used to post comments - otherwise known as the ‘What’s happening’ box. This box, which allows us to share our musings with the fourteen bots which follow us, used to be found on the left of the homepage. Now, Twitter have moved it to the top middle of the page - just like Facebook.
The change wasn’t even considered to be worthy of a blog post, with the company instead releasing a tweet announcing that it’s now "easier to tweet on Twitter". Twitter users were predictably upbeat about the miniscule change, and applauded Twitter on doing everything they could to improve their free service.
@twitter bullshit. This is horrible.— Legendary (@KingaLuvsBeysus) November 5, 2014
As a fly on the wall, it becomes increasingly interesting to see Facebook and Twitter squaring up and competing. While on one hand it’s shameful quite how much the two companies rip one-another off, it’s also intriguing to watch them amalgamate. One day, we may log into our Twitter accounts and discover the front page is an exact copy of Facebook’s 2014 UI. Meanwhile, Facebook, desperate to hoover up any remaining fans left frequenting only Twitter and not Facebook, may have changed their entire stance to focus on 140 character limits, hashtags and followers.
At least then, Doris the tea lady will finally understand how Twitter works. She just might have to be left behind by Facebook in order to get there.
In similar news, WhatsApp has just released an update that shows users when their texts have been seen. When the app shows a blue tick beside a text, users will know that the person on the other end has received their message, loud and clear. This is both brilliant and horrifying news: it'll be nice to know someone has actually seen my text, but it will hurt even more when they inevitably ignore it.