Tuesday 16 January 2018

Happy Birthday Twitter: Twitter is seven today

President Obama waves as he steps off Air Force One
President Obama waves as he steps off Air Force One

HOW time flies. It feels like only yesterday we were celebrating Twitter's sixth birthday.

 Now it's is all grown-up (well, as grown-up as an anthropomorphic bluebird named 'Larry' can get) and is a fully-fledged celebrity schmoozer to boot, with the likes of Justin Bieber, President Obama and Lady Gaga signing up and winning over billions of fans on the micro-blogging social network.

But what about Twitter's lacklustre social media peers? It's precursors; like Friends Reunited, Bebo and MySpace - the ones the precocious winged chatterbox pushed out of the limelight? The ones left glassy-eyed and unloved, shuffling aimlessly in the old people's home of cyberspace? Do they even exist?

Well, yes, even though Twitter elbowed them out the way, some of them are still clinging on. Just.

Bebo is still there, allowing you to "Share the Real You" and "Stay in the Loop" - providing the loop you want to stay in is a virtual desert landscape, populated by hipsters who rejected Facebook on the grounds it "became the man" and a lot of videos of people's cats.

MySpace is faring better, with a revamped signup page directly targeted at trendy creative types, it finally looks like something created this side of the millennium - you can only choose from artistic professions when you log in for the first time. It seems to be enjoying a bit of a rebirth with creative professionals and  it is cleverly embracing the competition by allowing you to link your account contacts from Facebook and Twitter to your MySpace account. They've also begun signing up artist collaborations - the latest of which saw Justin Timberlake perform at a SXSW' MySpace Secret Show'.

Friends Reunited, oh, Friends Reunited. I bet you're absolutely gutted you didn't think of Facebook before Facebook. Oh wait - you did -just a few little tweaks and it could have been you. The original stalker site has evolved a lot since its debut in 2000. Access to friends email and other contact details is no longer paid-for, they've set up a sister site, called friendsreuniteddating.com and other to trace your family history - called 'genesreunited'. The main site lets you collect old videos and pictures and lock them in an archive so they can't be accidentally deleted. These are all nice ideas, but the main issue is, no one's there anymore.

Independent News Service

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