Culture

Instagram Use Surpasses Twitter

It’s not Facebook big, or even (dare I say it?) VodkaPundit.com big — but it’s big:

Just nine months after hitting 200 million users, Instagram now says 300 million people use its photo app every month, with 70% of them coming from outside the US. That makes Instagram officially bigger than Twitter, which had 284 million active users as of six weeks ago.

Instagram’s been going strong for four years now, and despite fears that the acquisition by Facebook would screw it up, there’s now 70 million photos shared each day, and over 30 billion total. Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom says “Over the past four years, what began as two friends with a dream has grown into a global community.”

The story came my way via John Gruber, who adds:

Instagram is clearly run by people who get what it is that makes Instagram a cool thing. Twitter seems run by people who just don’t get Twitter.

Exactly. Most of the conventions which make Twitter wonderful — the @, the RT, the #FF — were created by its early users, and not by Twitter’s creators. In other words, Twitter began as an easy-to-use and easy-to-modify social platform. What Twitter has become is a confused and impossible-to-modify web app.

That’s a shame, too. I think of Twitter as a 24-7 cocktail party, where I can flit about, enjoy fun conversation, and occasionally rub elbows with people far higher up the media food chain. I go there when I want to, and unlike some other social media platforms I could name, Twitter never bugs me when I don’t want to be there. That part still works great.

But the company has squeezed almost all the life out of the market for Twitter apps and front ends, in a shortsighted effort to homogenize the Twitter experience. The Wild West days are over; the Progressive Era has begun.

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Crossposted from Vodkapundit