Social Media Apps: An Embarrassment of Riches

by francine Hardaway on June 28, 2010

Yahoo has changed for the better. I went there for the first time in a long time today, and found a dramatically re-formatted MyYahoo, as well as a host of new ways to be social. I connected my Facebook account, and was able to reach my Twitter account from the dashboard. And I can drag and drop modules to configure my own home page (although I no longer use any home page except maybe Twitter and Gmail). Brizzly has also changed for the better. Now I can make a private chat group with my friends, and see who has tweeted to me lately. It also supports multiple accounts. Between Brizzly, HootSuite, and Seesmic, why would I ever go to

Buzz has also changed for the better. It’s a lot cleaner, less noisy, and you can see who is following you and who you want to follow.

And then there’s Gist, which sends me an email every morning about my friends, and Nutshell mail, which aggregates Twitter and Facebook. Nutshell Mail sends me an email every few hours.

When I look at these, they all look good to me, and yet I spend most of my time using Facebook, Twitter, and the Facebook and Twitter mobile apps. I do switch off every once in a while on my phone, but rarely at the laptop. Why? Because the AppStore notifies me when my iPad or IPhone apps update, and I can update them and am reminded to try them again. On the computer, I never know what has been updated without reading an email.

I’m trying to figure out when the convergence will come, and some of these will merge with the others, or go out of business. But which ones? And when? Yesterday I read a post by Paul Kedrosky about the coming super-seed crash, and I knew it was right. All these companies have been seed-funded, along with numerous geo-location apps, and they are all wildly trying to grow. How big can they get? After all, we’re not China, and China and India have their own versions of these apps, customized to their users with their localized language and cultural conventions. Most social apps will not go global in a very big way. (I learned this on GOAP-ASIA this year.) Developers in those countries with big potential populations are quite capable of building their own.

So what I’m thinking is that we’re on the verge of a slow decline in the growth of these apps, which had better coincide with the “next big thing” for developers and entrepreneurs. That’s what has always happened in the past. I tried all these sites, as well as Nutshell Mail, when they were new, and then abandoned them. How about you? What have you abandoned? What will survive?

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Phil Sexton June 28, 2010 at 12:59 pm

I used to use twhirl, but abandoned it for tweetdeck a few months back. I recently tried hootsuite, but I like using one app at a time and didn't see enough value in it to re-train myself.

lindavandevrede June 28, 2010 at 6:45 pm

I have to admit, I sit back and wait and let the wisdom of the crowds determine for me which app to use. I love trying new technology, but personal bandwidth is always stretched, so better to let innovators like yourself tell me which is best. :)

gist May 26, 2011 at 8:52 pm

Great stuff from you, man. Ive read your stuff before and youre just
too awesome. I love what youve got here, love what youre saying and the
way you say it. You make it entertaining and you still manage to keep
it smart. I cant wait to read more from you.

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