Daily Archives: April 21, 2008

Twitter: grabbing defeat from the jaws of success

Amazing, Twitter has been half down all weekend long. Dave Winer and others have been writing about it. The problems have been covered on TechMeme and other places where one looks for interesting tech news.

But, don’t miss what’s really going on: Twitter is handing FriendFeed a gift. A major one at that.

FriendFeed has seen HUGE growth over the past month (in the month or so that I’ve been on that service more than 7,000 people have friended my account). That’s faster growth than I’ve seen on Twitter.

Why is FriendFeed seeing this growth? Well, for one, it hasn’t gone down since I’ve joined it. It was built from the start to scale, which after I met the team I understood why: two of the founders of FriendFeed started Gmail and Google Maps, so I’m sure they’ve learned a few tricks about making sure services don’t go down from Google.

I’m also noticing another thing: many of my friends are answering Twitter messages in FriendFeed. That demonstrates to me that their behavior has changed in the past month. If Twitter keeps going down and/or having reliability problems it won’t be long before we change ALL of our behavior and just participate on FriendFeed without worrying about Twitter at all.

Of course, today I gave a talk to Stanford’s Sloan program (bunch of MBA students). Only a handful had heard of Twitter. That’s Twitter’s future growth. What if they hear Twitter sucks and that FriendFeed is where they should participate?

Hmmm.