So therein lies the challenge for Glass or any other app that hopes to slice off a sizable chunk of the world’s population to replace Instagram. They need the network.
Without the network there is no clout. Without the network there are no brand deals. Without the network there are no influencers (and, believe it or not, a huge percentage of today’s professional photographers are in this category on Instagram). Without the network there are less serendipitous business relationships that happen between people scattered around the globe. Without the network large publications don’t find new talent as easily. And, without the network nothing goes viral.
I guess that depends on what you actually want from a social network. Do you want something to go viral? Do you want to follow or become an influencer? Or do you just want genuine interactions with interesting people?
I’m in it for the genuine interactions.
I liked Twitter a lot more when it was significantly smaller than it is today. And I’m starting to wonder if the shear size of the major players is actually why they’re so darn miserable to use. They don’t feel like a community anymore and most of what’s posted there isn’t really all that interesting or unusual. It’s boring.
When I decided to functionally jump ship from Twitter, my timeline was filled with tweets that had a sameness to them. Everyone was talking about the same things and mostly had the same opinions about all of it. It felt so sterile and corporate.
Contrast that with Mastodon where I’m following people from dozens of instances with different focuses. My timeline is exciting — it’s filled with people talking about writing, podcasting, open source, privacy, and only occasionally about whatever everyone is currently obsessed with on Twitter.
It’s just so nice.
You’re not really going to see things go viral on Mastodon and it isn’t home to influencers with major advertising deals, but that’s a feature not a bug. And hopefully it’s distributed nature will allow it to keep that same “small batch” feel on individual servers while the greater network grows to eventually eclipse the closed down, siloed status quo.