Hasn't It Always Been About Status?

What’s the day? What's you doing?
How’s your mood? How's that song?
when it passes right by me
It’s behind me, now it’s gone.

Fireworks, Animal Collective

Facebook's announcement that they are opening up API access to user's status updates (and more) is big news. The status update has become the ultimate social gesture. You could see this coming if you were watching carefully. All last year, Facebook, who is the leader in social networking and will continue to be as far as I can tell, focused on morphing the user experience, first to the news feed and ultimately to the status update as the primary user experience.

But Facebook did not invent the status update. I honestly don't know where the status update started but for me it was AIM where I first was asked to leave a short note telling people what I was doing. I've heard Jack Dorsey, the inventor of Twitter, talk many times about his inspirations for Twitter and one of them was the status message in AIM.

Much of the innovation in social networking is being driven by entrepreneurs in their late 20 and early 30s. These people were teenagers or young adults when AIM came out in 1997 and they rapidly adopted the IM interface for rapid (and rabid) communications with friends from their bedrooms and/or dorm rooms. The status update is ingrained in their social networking intuitions.

It seems to me, and I am certainly influenced as an active user of and investor in Twitter, that status has emerged as the ultimate social gesture. If you look at traditional social nets, Facebook, MySpace, Bebo, etc, etc, they offer many social activities; writing on walls, posting and tagging photos, sharing videos, listening to music, playing games, etc.

But as Joshua Schachter explained to me a few years ago now, reduction of services to the simplest user experiences is a powerful generator of focused activity. And that's what is going on at Facebook and across the social networking sector right now. Status is universal. Not everyone takes photos or videos, or plays games. But everyone has a status and it changes. It's also quick and easy to post a status message. And it's massively conversational (something we didn't quite realize until Twitter users invented the @reply).

I believe Facebook's recognition of status as the most important and most powerful social gesture seals the deal. Status is where it's at in social networking. This is very good for Twitter and its also very good for the other social nets who recognize this and move quickly to provide status updating features and open them up to the social web.

This is also very good for third party Twitter clients who will now be able to become status clients. We are going to see continued innovation in and around the status message. We can use filtering, semantics, indentity, social graphs, and a host of other important technologies to weave a real-time web around status.

Of course, not all social nets are the same. The big differences are around public/private and one-way/reciprocal following as well as market positioning. A service like Facebook, with its emphasis on privacy and reciprocal following serves the user who values privacy and wants to have a smaller and more intimate social experience (the private party). A service like Twitter with its default to public and one-way follow serves the user who wants to reach the broadest audience (the man on the soapbox). A service like LinkedIn, which has adopted the Facebook model (more or less) but is business focused will serve an even different user base.

All of these services will be generators of status and the real-time web is emerging as a result. My friend John Borthwick has been one of the leading thinkers about the implications of this real-time web and he penned an interesting post this week about the implications of all this on Google and the search ecosystem.

John talks about attending a Christensen talk at AOL around the time of the AOL/Time Warner merger:

They [market leaders] think they are still disrupting when they are just innovating on
the same theme that they began with.   As a consequence they miss the
grass roots challenger — the real disruptor to their business.   The
company who is disrupting their business doesn’t look relevant to the
billion dollar franchise, its often scrappy and unpolished, it looks
like a sideline business, and often its business model is TBD.

It's interesting to note how Facebook is behaving in this regard. It's impressive as hell. Say what you will about Mark Zuckerberg. He's got the intellectual curiosity and honesty to see what's going on and deal with it. He's done it again and again, with the news feed, with the platform, and now with status. And the social and real time web is so much better because of it.

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#VC & Technology#Web/Tech

Comments (Archived):

  1. Mike Gero

    Fred:Fantastic insights for a Saturday morning – Thanks. The lightbulb went off in my head when I started using Twitter, and realized that I could use my tweets to update Facebook status. Taken collectively with contextual awareness, ala the path Google is treading with Latitude, the concept of status is looming much larger…

    1. fredwilson

      Its interesting to note that you can post a status message in latitude

      1. Mike Gero

        Part of the point, exactly :). Given your interest in Latitude, feel free to check out my thoughts on where it’s taking mobile apps – http://tinyurl.com/akt2srMike

    2. sam

      My god. Sometimes I read comments like this and wonder if I’m suddenly watching saturday night live. Your great moment of zen is realizing you can update facebook with twitter? Please don’t multiply.

      1. Mike Gero

        Sam:I read comments like yours and understand exactly why many blog comments are moderated…Unfortunately, you’ve read my comment in a completely literal sense, and not in broader sense in which it was meant. It was not about the “Wow” moment of “Hey, I can update my Facebook status from Twitter,” but rather the implications of shared status amongst the different platforms and the context that this ultimately implied, and could ultimately be leveraged by other apps, in other fashions.I’ll try to be more ethereal in the future 🙂

        1. fredwilson

          I think sam may have violated the ‘good manners’ vibe that we strive for in this community. There is a way to debate politely

          1. Mike Gero

            Thanks – perhaps I could’ve been less assumptive and more descriptive in my initial comment. Lesson learned.Mike

  2. Dan Blank

    Great post Fred. One thing that has set Twitter apart for me is the search-ability of their system. For all of the other blogs, news aggregators, websites, videos, social networks, etc – being able to tap into the Twitter feed by search is – to me – a huge leap forward in how we view the world.A simple example is that when I was trying to buy Springsteen tickets earlier this week – I received a ton of error messages. A quick search on Twitter showed that many others had the same issue. It was a full day later that I saw a CNN article about it.Knowing that Facebook is expanding the role of status updates and how we can leverage them is exciting, especially as my Facebook network grows to a wide group of trusted friends.Have a great day.Dan

    1. mas2124

      Agreed. Twitter Search is a fantastic innovation that not only serves us as information seekers and consumers, but also businesses and bloggers who are trying to get their word out.

  3. cmogle

    Robert Scoble regularly highlights Facebook’s propensity to delete user accounts for apparent ToS violations. Without comfort on how these policies will be enforced going forwards, is there actually little risk of the Facebook API initiative being a Twitter-killer after all?

    1. fredwilson

      I’ve said so many times that “this service kills this other service” meme is mostly bullshit. Most deaths are self inflicted. And twitter has certainly tried to kill itself more than once. But I’m not buying into the idea that facebook and twitter are the same experience. I laid out why in the post

      1. Jeff Pester

        One of my corporate marketing friends said something the other day that crystallized the difference between Twitter / Facebook in terms of “experience”; He said his company was much more interested in participating “IN” Twitter, than participating “ON” Facebook. He believes Twitter to actually be a dynamic experience that they could participate in, whereas he felt Facebook was more akin to buying a presence on – like another media buy.That was the tipping point for me. It cemented my belief in the substantial revenue generating advantage that Twitter has in the corporate/organizational community. As a former trader I wanted to run out of the meeting and arb the two – Long Twitter / Short Facebook – at least at the most recent valuations I’m aware of.

        1. fredwilson

          I think it’s high time for a market to form in private company stock forthis and many other reasons

  4. Cratyle

    Status looks like the boudary of the social graph approach of social Web : its the simplest thing you can share with people who know you.On the other hand, there is a wide unexplored frontier in the social Web : the interest graph. Here, were are far from knowing what can be shared and the way it could be. We are still strying to find out how to share from interest to interest rather than from people to people.

    1. falicon

      That is a very interesting angle (interest vs. status)…as Fred mentioned, status right now is all the rage…but I agree there is an opp. to also focus on interest or desire…not just what we ARE doing, but what we WANT to be doing or WISH we were doing…From a developers point of view, since many of these systems are becoming so open right now, there is a big design decision…for example should a system to deal with ‘interest’ just be built on top of Twitter (maybe with something as simple as a #interest hash tag)…or should a whole new system be envisioned and developed? There are big trade offs to consider in both approaches (building on open and widely adopted systems makes it easier and faster to adoption, but you are also reliant on those systems at your core and less likely to be a game-changer than you are a game-improver)…For something like shifting from status to interest, it seems like an incremental shift and so it’s probably best built on top of open systems…that is unless interest is grepped in such a way that it really is fundamentally different than status (and then it’s time for a new, possibly game-changing, system).Anyway, sorry for the tangent, guess your comment sparked my brain into ramble mode!

      1. fredwilson

        Build on top of these platforms. No question in my mind

        1. falicon

          But do you agree that building on top of the platforms is a way to improve the game, not change it? Of course that doesn’t mean there’s not a huge need and opp. to improve the game…Of the companies you guys invest in, how many are built on top of open platforms vs. developed their own systems (that then became or provided their own open platforms).Not at the time it was built, but now Twitter could easily have been built on top of facebook…but that wouldn’t have let it explode into what it is today (or will be tomorrow).Anyway – I think I agree with you for most developers and applications…99% of us can do more/better/faster using these open systems…but that 1% still needs to go against the stream if the river is ever going to flow in another direction.

          1. fredwilson

            I am not sure twitter could have been built on top of facebook when it wasbuilt over three years agohttp://www.140characters.co…But your question about our companies is very interestingHere’s a quick top of mind answer:Zynga ­ built entirely on top of social nets (FB, MS) and mobile (iPhone)Disqus ­ built entirely on top of blogging platforms (blogger, 6a, WP,tumblr)Zemanta ­ built on top of Firefox and blogging platformsAdaptive Blue ­ built on top of FirefoxPinch ­ built on top of mobile platforms (iPhone, Android, etc)Boxee ­ built on top of the XBMC open source platformClickable ­ built on to of google adwords and other keyword advertsingplatformsIndeed ­ built on top of the job classified servicesSo that’s eight out of about 25 portfolio companies, but it’s also seven(take out indeed) out of the most recent 15 investments we’ve made, so it’scertainly an increasing theme in our investmentsGreat question/comment

          2. falicon

            Thanks for the list – it is a very interesting trend to watch…what I find most revealing about it is that, while they are built on open systems, they are all built across platforms and/or open standards more so than specific open systems…that def. ensures that the companies are best suited to withstand changes (or down time) from any one service/site…Do you think most of these companies are using these open systems only as a starting point or is it really a core part of their business that they intend to stick to?For example, Zemanta with it’s firefox plugin…is that just the easiest way for them to get into the game and implement the first version of their idea? Do you expect over time that their core offerings will move away from focusing on that so they can support and do more for the non-firefox crowd? Or will they stick with the open systems and instead work to convert people to those systems to gain their advantages?

          3. fredwilson

            Zemanta’s goal is to build a large enough user base and value propositionfor content creators with its FF extension (and IE too) so that blogplatforms feel compelled to integrate directly with their API

          4. markslater

            when is someone going to build a social service on a deployed RFID platform? I know its not price anymore – surely this is the perfect type of platform to build a service on.

          5. Ethan Bauley

            StockTwits is a gamechanger.There will be many more examples…

      2. kidmercury

        this is a great conversation, falicon and fred. i think build on top is a much safer bet. lower development costs and lets you weave your way into the existing ecosystem, thus significantly reducing marketing/adoption costs. basically, the cost savings associated with build on top make it the better choice, in my opinion.

    2. gregorylent

      agree with this .. status = state, and that is the least interesting thing, especially those aspects of one’s state that have to do with space and time, exactly what the web erases …interests, as you note, and “evolution of interest”, i.e. rate of change, growth, transformation, the calculus of the curve, the “flow” … this is the news

      1. gregorylent

        and why the industry loves space and time information, it is what they think they can monetize, but as always will happen, the true value is beyond what can be monetized .. hehe

      2. fredwilson

        Flow – that’s the word I’ve been using the most lately

    3. fredwilson

      Search, filtering, semantics, etc, etc. That’s the next wave of innovation in the real time web and that’s why FB opening up status is a big deal

      1. falicon

        Couldn’t agree more – specifically, semantics tied to filtering and search…it’s no longer a problem to find stuff…in fact the problem is that you find too much stuff (and it takes too much work)…the next big improvements are going to be in ways to find stuff (content AND people) via your own unique context…ie. if I talk and think a lot about Twitter, when I do a search, it should have a heavy Twitter lens on it…and I should be introduced as much as possible to others that have a good Twitter lens (plus others that have a very complimentary lens to Twitter)…

        1. tweetip

          Fred links to John Borthwick’s post on the now web. In John’s post he mentions ‘follow search’. With follow search, each of us will slowly build, grow & maintain ‘evolved queries’ of interests. This will allow new algorithms to map physical/social connections in a time when our collective brain may be too tired to see. Within these new maps is new insight for looking at entrenched problems. Follow search nurtures the natural flow of new knowledge defining new layers of advancement. Though follow search is now, it’s not always on. Insight. Contemplate. Insight. Contemplate. Humanity enters into a very different vibe.

      2. Benjamin Nowack

        I’ve been playing with low-level “semantic Tweets” for a couple of weeks, and I’m increasingly impressed how much of my daily work activities actually fit nicely into status updates. I’ve had great fun building tiny scripts that calculate the time I spend on certain projects, or that remember the links I posted (i.e. bookmarked), ranked by number of re-tweets in my social graph. What I find most interesting, though, is that I’d never have started recording all this without a simple, “reduce-to-the-max” status logger like Twitter.

    4. Rich Karpinski

      What is the Web site where users can post what they WANT to do?, ie, Pete wants to publish a book in the next year, etc….I’m blanking on this, but that sort of aspiration, as well as interest as you say, is an interesting addition to status.

      1. firebones

        43things.com is probably the one you are thinking of.

  5. Dave Levy

    Brilliant point…the social media folks in their Mid 20s/early 30s grew up with AOL/AIM Away Messages and, in fact, it was a key way to communicate when we are all in college. Around 2000, the first time many people had “always on” high-speed connections was when they checked into their dorm room. I’ve found myself explaining Twitter to many people my age (non digital folks) with “Hey, it’s like your AIM away message, except it’s directly conversational and there’s no IM attached.”

  6. Jeff Pester

    Granted, Facebook’s deepening access to and integration of status updates is big news. But I think that those who predict that this move will somehow threaten the growth (let alone the existence – Nick O’Neill) are completely off base.For me, Facebook and Twitter represent entirely different types of engagement. The differences you’ve outlined (public vs private, one_way vs reciprocal) nearly define the type and bulk of interaction that will occur on Facebook vs Twitter. And that differentiation is what makes each strong in their own right. The more that Facebook tries to be Twitter, or vice versa, the more they risk diluting their primary value propositions and making themselves ultimately vulnerable.So, while status is becoming (or already is) universal, the environments in to which status is integrated are more important than the ability to post status itself. Seems like everybody wins here.

    1. fredwilson

      Good point. It will be interesting to see how this move impacts facebook’s user experience. I think its a positive but that might be my twitter centric thinking getting the best of me

      1. Jeff Pester

        For some reason I spaced out typing “of Twitter” in my second sentence – S/B “But I think that those who predict that this move will somehow threaten the growth OF TWITTER (let alone the existence – Nick O’Neill) are completely off base.”IMO the ultimate potential of Twitter absolutely dwarfs that of Facebook. It’s openness and the ability to search the public timeline for content, conversations, & people with similar interests in real time makes it a much more immersive and satisfying experience. No question that “interest” is better accomodated on Twitter.A lot of my friends (most in their 40’s) have recently joined Facebook and they are to a person hyper active at first. Within a month or so their activity slows dramatically. They get the thrill of reconnecting with people they haven’t seen for a while and their activity falls off a cliff. Reminds me of the way people engaged with Classmates.com years ago. I guess what I’m suggesting is that in the big scheme of things, Facebook is actually much more vulnerable in the long run than Twitter.

  7. Matt Hyatt

    Opening the status API means that people will be able to update status on multiple platforms at once, which will be a great time-saver for many. However, one innovation that I think will be quickly necessary is an easy way to specify which platforms will receive each individual update. Not all conversations are appropriate for all platforms.I recently broke the connection I had setup between Twitter and Facebook because each “audience” is different. On Twitter, where there are lots of people I’ve never met in person, the conversations are a little different than they are on Facebook, where I’m keeping in touch with family and friends.

    1. fredwilson

      Its so great that this stuff has been recorded for posterityThanks for the link

    2. brooksjordan

      What an awesome writeup about the idea for “twttr” with his original sketch:”For the next 5 years, I thought about this concept and tried to silently introduce it into my various projects. It slipped into my dispatch work. It slipped into my networks of medical devices. It slipped into an idea for a frictionless service market. It was everywhere I looked: a wonderful abstraction which was easy to implement and understand.”

      1. fredwilson

        That’s jack. He’s an amazing person

        1. brooksjordan

          That Twitter germinated in Jack’s mind and tinkerings for 5 years makes me think of Albert’s recent post on the importance of funding dabblers: http://snipurl.com/bhiml

          1. fredwilson

            Albert worked with Joshua at delicious and he’s another classic dabbler

  8. andreaitis

    i agree — i always thought of facebook (and twitter, to some extent) as super-charged aim buddy lists. forget the facebook apps, the heart and soul of fb is the status message. but zuckerberg does something else: he smartly serves both audiences, those who want to be on stage and those who want to be in the audience. i can be passively engaged on facebook…part of the in-crowd without actually being present. a silent partner, if you will. and i no longer need to remember email addresses, phone numbers or even birthdays. facebook allows me to be lazy, vain and voyeuristic. oh, and it goes with me thru fb mobile. that’s a pretty good base offering. i do wonder what will emerge as the prominent communication mechanism. seems there will be some shifting between facebook, twitter, instant messaging services and txt messaging. will i use different things in different places, like gchat when in gmail….or will 1 emerge across all my behaviors?

  9. mdudas

    I’m “rabid” about status updates (my own and others) – your post is my latest Facebook status (note that’s different than my Twitter status, which is updated far less frequently and reaches far fewer people – for now). Status, sharing, intent, etc is how monetization is going to work for social sites as well, as the existing CP’s (CPM, CPC, CPA) isn’t going to get it done in the long term.

  10. Alan Warms

    Fred -As I tweeted to John after I read post — I think there’s plenty of innovation to come on the Now Search and Find – and you’re going to need Geographic, Social, Temporal to do it right. That’s what I think Lattitude’s about – firmly connecting geo to everything. I think the trick is going to be not just being able to make sense of all the inputs — but to do it in a way that fits the public/private desires of the user. I think Geographic, and the local merchants that are associated, is the toughest problem to crack hence Lattitude I think is pretty darn formidable here. Search has got to get better across the whole space and it is so *different* than anything we’ve seen before I think it is wide open.

    1. fredwilson

      As I said in my post thurs and my tweet this morning, latitude is hugeBut it’s also very private, even more so than twitterThere’s a lot to be done at the intersection of all of these services

      1. Alan Warms

        Agreed — cracking the user adoption nut that this is not “creepy” but really cool is going to be tougher and key – Twitter has in great market space now, and is going mainstream as the world understands it and how to use — fb much more private – why I don’t link my twitter updates to fb because two different audiences with different expectations imo.Probably going to be some great partnership opps as well. Has outside.in done anything/doing anything with status? Would think they understand the local monetization/goog ad inventory better than most

        1. fredwilson

          OI runs the twitter feed through their system. I am alerted at least once a day about a tweet about my ‘hood

          1. Alan Warms

            You should tweet the url to find that feature on Outside In

  11. Facebook User

    Awesome post.On thing to add:I found, personally, that I do follow the people who matter to me much more closely and “intimately” on Twitter than on Facebook. Nothing to be found here that is not public, but the unidirectional follow concept of Twitter generates a surprising level of relevance over the bidirecitonal “connectedness” of Facebook.

  12. Michael Lewkowitz

    Good god… great post and fantastic comments. I see why you’ve had so many ideas in your head.Interest and discovery are the magic in micro-messaging status updates and inline tagging like the @ and the # are critical to that from an immediate and historical perspective. This tagging and threading of conversations I think has some far-reaching implications for the semantic web that we’re just starting to experimenting with with VenTwits. While there is a small subset that have been using hashtags actively it’s amazing how it becomes part of natural written language and thought. Once tagged, it immediately becomes part of a larger thread which weaves and winds through other threads.Discovery as the new cocaine is a great preso from the Mr. Tweet folks.http://www.slideshare.net/m…It feels like we’ve boiled it down to the basics with default to public and the 140 char (sms based) limit and I can’t help think that we’re tapping into something foundational that the ‘next ‘web will be built from.Woooohooooo!

    1. fredwilson

      That’s a great slide presentationLot’s of ideas and insights in there

  13. AAfter Search

    Am I missing something here? Will Facebook allow any outside application to access/update the status of an user [like Twitter API ]? OR this has to be a “FaceBook application” running on their platform to have those capabilities? In the second case, it is not as open API as that from Twitter, and may not have a serious impact.Regards,Subhankar Ray

    1. BmoreWire

      check out Switchabit FB has let you do this for a while. not it’s just easier and there are custom functions.

  14. Boris

    I had to read up a lot on “status” last semester when I was researching Twitter.If people are more interested in the technical thoughts behind “status”, it’s technically referred to as “presence information.” There’s a nice and to-the-point wiki article here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wik…What’s interesting is that in the evolution of “presence information” we went from primarily common states like “away” or “busy” to more custom states across users.For me, the first “status updates” I remember was on IRC way back in the day, which most people older than me should remember. I was exposed to AIM status updates shortly around the same time, but I think IRC was the predecessor of all of this.Cool post Fred.

  15. McLarty

    My parents and sister, who live 4 hours away, got mad yesterday. Because I updated my twitter status with some important news about my life, and I didn’t e-mail them first. Ie, real-time when the information was available to me.I called to tell them the news, later in the evening. They were ticked, that they had to “find out through twitter”.Will be interesting to watch, how the next generation deals with the real-time web.All I know, is that it makes great sense, to get long the flow of information.All the best,Jeff McLarty

  16. BmoreWire

    I guess I’m confused. You could do all of this stuff before, I think you just had to set values or do it through links. Switchabit is probably one of the better auto-api’s I’ve seen that does this…. but it’s great that they build custom functions to do this in a richer way. Too bad we just spent the past 2 months building work arounds with the current api….

  17. lmjabreu

    Just a thought, maybe it’s not just the status, the immediate present, the temporal threshold’s a bit larger. Plus, very few people use Twitter the way it was initially intended to be used, they rather broadcast their thoughts, start conversations, etc. I’d write: Today’s About Activity, Actions.btw: /me commenting 🙂

    1. fredwilson

      I love that status update at the end

  18. Jay Cuthrell

    Status is a double entendre these days. It could go triple or quadruple entendre and beyond with each passing phase of new means to inform and disseminate lightweight information.As I’ve said previously back in October of last year…http://www.taylordavidson.c…I’ve only got three people in my Google Latitude and of those, only two actually use other “status” services to any real degree. This makes me wonder if a service like ping.fm or other write-once-publish-many service is the response to a frustration.If I could push out my Facebook status that might be one approach but I don’t know that my Facebook is the service I pivot from most of the time. Twitter is my present view of shouting into the crowd of passersby as I do not protect updates.Ultimately, this will come down to the most natural and second nature interface for producing the update and disseminating it to the most valued audience.What is your view on set and forget status coupled to the value of proximal events in life?

    1. fredwilson

      I don’t know my thoughts on that. You are stimulating them now

      1. markslater

        this is a great question – i have found that my social and professional group no longer use their aim status for updating.To me Twitter and other lightweight dissemination services are the ‘shouting in to the crowd of passersby’ as you put it.I am admittedly a fence sitter on twitter – can someone explain briefly how the facebook release does not threaten its existence?

        1. fredwilson

          It’s a different use caseFB is a private partyTwitter is standing on a soapbox talking to anyone who will listen

          1. markslater

            got it.

  19. Raphael Briner

    I just want to clarify something. Public microblogging is not a copy of AIM or it’s not Jack Dorsey that was the real father of this experience (yes, his sketch is fantastic and a lot of interesting things there).It’s http://www.k10k.net/ (with mschmidt and token) and their fabulous team of designers that were (they still are) publishing every day some extraordinary microblogs: new trends with links. It was(still) totally addictive and we really were all focusing on this. It’s also DFORM1, an individual initiative from a Sweden guy (no link for this, will try to find some snaps).We can call this: an editorial point of view and a way of life: cutting-edge, not VC-edge.And just a last word, I was also microblogging in 2000 and even if my audience was very very small, I had a lot of pleasure to to do it … http://www.revoir.ch/oneyea…Comment stored also on http://www.hyperweek.com/ar

    1. fredwilson

      Thanks for this history. Its very interesting and I was not aware of any of this

      1. Raphael Briner

        When Twitter came to public, it was not clear that it would became a fantastic socialbookmark/headlines/conversations tool, I mean for the outsiders adopters. The fact that tinyurl came from a third party confirms that twitter’s aim was not to contain so many links.So if it was hard to compare the microblogging activity from those designers in 2000 (i forgot threeoh, designiskinky too) to twitter in 2006, it’s much more easy now.K10k was an “on-request” community, but we, as viewers, knew well all people behind those names, including webdesign stars such as Joshua Davis, Mike Cina, Zeldman…They were tweeting something between 30 to 100 short messages per day. And other design portals were trying to find better links, news projects, but the k10k (about 30 peers) were just skyrocking and their servers had monumental pageviews. For designers, microblogging was excellent: no need to argue, just say somethin like “amazing flash piece *****” In the meantime, Kottke was the reverse, pushing the blogging to another level. And blogger.com came and those microblogs were replaced by streams of portofolios or stacks of blogrolls.k10k and this crowd were leading the front-end in all ways during years (98-04). They saw this social thing (web2, friendster, flickr) coming and did not take the opportunity to enlarge communities and enlarge conversations. They took time to accept new layouts, big fonts usage and gradients everywhere. They were stuck somewhere, but I can just confirm: they still are incredible visionnaries and have the biggest knowledge of the design interface history.Twitter is about design…don’t forget.

  20. William Mougayar

    This makes All-in-One online social footprint aggregators such as FriendFeed even more relevant. As a consumer of my friend’s statuses, I’d rather get them all in 1 place, validating the “reduction of services” trend, right?But more needs to be done in this area for the ultimate aggregator to emerge, which will include the semantics, filters, search, etc.

  21. kenberger

    FB’s status updates have been available for a while via RSS, and that’s been hugely key to tailoring a consumption model to one’s liking (I efficiently follow them closely via Netvibes).But offering an API that is robust enough should give way to a ton more innovation (more customizable, more interactive, shareable, etc), making this incredible source of data much more valuable.As to the legacy of stati, I do remember The WELL asking you for your location/status when you ‘logged on’ back in the early-mid-80’s (if I remember correctly).

  22. Ville Vesterinen

    Here’s a brief story on how Jaiku founders came up with their idea of status message. http://www.tippingeurope.co…I find it very interesting that Jaiku and Twitter came up with the idea at the same time but independently without knowing about each other.

    1. fredwilson

      That happens so often that I’ve come to believe that ideas have a certainnatural time of arrival

  23. Aruni S. Gunasegaram

    I’ve been finding myself more on facebook than I used to be. Mostly because I have connected with people I usually know well off line. Old friends and family. I still more time on twitter but I notice that more of the people I interact with offline interact with me on facebook than on twitter. It’s interesting.The status updates and Wall comments on facebook do seem to pull me in a bit more.

    1. fredwilson

      Facebook is way more mainstream. Its the biggest force in social networking as I said in my post and I don’t think that will change

      1. Ed

        I do. I can’t know a fraction of what you do, but from out here, I say Twitter has the potential to be embraced by far, far more active users than Facebook could ever draw.

  24. scottchait

    Fred, I’m sure you saw, but in case not, nice call-out in Paul Boutin’s review in the WSJ of Jeff Jarvis’s new book: http://tinyurl.com/bb9zu5

    1. fredwilson

      I didn’t see thatThanks for sending me that linkJeff’s book is very good

      1. Scott Chait

        Not a problem. I plan on checking it out.

  25. SexySEO

    Facebook is great, Zuckerberg is a genus, new APIs are awesome idea and a present for all of us, we all should be so thankful for that and blah blah blah ROFLMAO next week probably I’ll hear that FB is actually the pillar of the Internet and the bright future of http://WWW.You all lost your minds LOL What a joy! The biggest parasite and polyp of the Internet is finally shared something LOL But what happened in reality? Quite simple thingie: Facebook is opening DATA that were open (by default) in WHOLE Internet (or Facebook = Internet to you these days?) FB struggles to survive and understands that if it will not open DATA it will die long and painful death. It’s just silly to watch how easy to fool people and substitute notions.Much ado from nothing. Really. Yawn.PSbut what is really BAD that developers again will waste their time and resources(emotional, financial) for doing useless applications instead creating something more valuable for USERS and new open web technologies.PSSNight little-tiny story: There were pretty OPEN and FRIENDLY girlz on the Internet called Social Networks (online communities) and cool guys (SEs, developers, Internet users) loved them all. But once upon a time the girl (called Facebook) decided to play an old and boring game called “walled garden” (Why old? See AOL story LOL) … yeah the next part is quite unpleasant: cool geeks instead of just ignoring unapproachable and unfriendly girl started to pay too much attention to that girl (that was err…plain stupid with a hint of masochism), begging her “oh, please, dear show me your….” LOL And she played her little game perfectly well – showing sometimes tiny bits of her er… body to keep an interest of cool boys. But times past. Pretty open and friendly girlz grew up and became mature and extremely attractive women. The girl (unapproachable and unfriendly one) became pretty old (cellulite, wrinkles, flabby skin caused by make-up overuse and other painful ageing problems 😉 and loosing her “positions”…. You know the rest of story. The end is silly and bitter: instead of leaving her to die quietly alone in peace almost every single cool geek came to her last show “Old whore last strip” and paid full price for the ticket. So… Don’t blame anyone for lost years and youth – you had everything to get happily married, have children (new web technologies, services) even grandchildren (super duper profits)! ROFL :)))))))))))))))))))))))))

    1. SexySEO

      To ALL who didn’t get my previous comment (Yes, I received bunch of DMs full of requests with an “order” to explain what is it all about)2nd night little-tiny … very little story. WARNING! For adults only!There were two types of creatures called … let’s call them candypoppers and popperscandies. Candypoppers eat with their mouth, popperscandies with their anus (pardon!) And one day anus-eaters decided to give it a try and start eating with their mouth. Yeah that was something! You wouldn’t wish this even to your enemy: pain, tears, blood and shit, and victims (the first victim was poor umbilicus – popperscandies seemingly confused it with a mouth) … and sooooo uncomfortable! But finally popperscandies managed to hit… the ear! That was AWESOME! (Awesome? Ah! I think I know where I picked up this parasite word LOL http://twitter.com/davemorin)Why FB is opening DATA? Now seriously (khe-khe): they’ve got one… no! two tiny problems (besides their existence LOL Oh, sorry! I forgot I must be serious). They do not know what to do with DATA and capacities to process it in a right way. That’s it. Simple? Yeah!  So… Let’s help them for the sake of their innocent USERS! PS Don’t take this silly-girlie crap too serious 😉 “if you want to tell people truth, make them laugh or they’ll kill you” Oscar Wilde (thanks to @timoreilly) Did I make you laugh? Yes/No?… PSS For an extreme realists who can’t digest food without artificial sweeteners, FB analysis will be served in couple of hours.

  26. RacerRick

    Now we can extend winetweets (and other Bots) to Facebook!And then a coordinating Facebook app…There is just not enough time.

  27. Paul

    I don’t really see the innovation here. Isn’t it just like being able to see someone’s calendar, just that there is no time frame and people can write anything they want? I bet Lotus Notes had a feature that could have been used in the same manner. It’s all simply “chat room” technology if you ask me.

  28. amyjokim

    Great post and analysis, Fred. Your comment about young entrepreneurs who grew up with IM reminds me of why these same people are on the forefront of adding Game Mechanics to their Web apps. My company Shufflebrain is focused on turning digital photos and status updates into small, lightweight puzzle games. I hope you’re right about the primacy of status updates – that’d be good news for our gaming model.

    1. fredwilson

      Gaming is a big part of the social media revolution

      1. deancollins

        Do ‘you’ think that there are opportunities in startups looking to ‘broadcast’ gaming competitions involving hme users (eg not stadium events)?I was asked to look at a startup building gaming console ‘webcaster hardware’ boxes that enabled broadcasting of live games with the view that this would be implemented into a wider ‘pro comp’ social environment.If you want more details email me.Dean

        1. fredwilson

          I think its interesting but as I’m not a gamer I’ll have to ask those in my life who are

  29. warrickt

    For status to be truly conversational someone need to figure out how to update one platform on comments to status messages made in another. Otherwise there is no thread.

    1. fredwilson

      I posted about that todayhttp://www.avc.com/a_vc/200…

  30. Congo

    Actually, a small NZ company called IPFX developed the concept of Presence in their first release of a unified communications solution called Vision. Initially it worked on NEC PBX systems and once Cisco saw it they developed it for Call Manager and more recently Nortel. They also have their own end to end solution called Director. The suite now boasts smart greetings, intelligent call routing, calender integration and 11 presence settings which helps companies operate more effectively by using presence information. So this is not a new concept just a new and valuable application of it.

  31. Eray

    I do not agree. Absolutely not. 80 % of in- and outgoing tweets are link & informationsharing not involving any status updates. And this is, in my opinion the driving force of twitter. Sharing Information at 140 digits per tweet. How convient…I’d also like to remind you that facebook integrated the status update long time ago, but couldn’t defeat twitter as the momentum is on twitter’s side. Last but not least, not all Facebook innovation should be accredited to Mr. Zuckerberg…this would be simply wrong.

  32. hypermark

    I read this post when it originally ran, and pretty much agreed but then quickly moved on. But then, like @Mike Gero’s comment, I activated the feature within Facebook, and for me at least, that’s the AHA moment when you really start to see how you can have both global and targeted messages. As these messages are increasingly gaining structure (@, RT, hashtags, Search, StockTwits, bit.ly, TwitPic), I am taking a snapshot of and framing your comment below:”This is also very good for third party Twitter clients who will now be able to become status clients. We are going to see continued innovation in and around the status message. We can use filtering, semantics, indentity, social graphs, and a host of other important technologies to weave a real-time web around status.”Thanks for the insight,Mark–Getting Real: On Doomsday, the Demise of So-Called Experts and the New ArbitrageREAD ME: http://bit.ly/tjd3

  33. Iklan Baris Gratis

    Great post Fred. One thing that has set Twitter apart for me is the search-ability of their system. For all of the other blogs, news aggregators, websites, videos, social networks, etc – being able to tap into the Twitter feed by search is – to me – a huge leap forward in how we view the world.

    1. Stop Dreaming Start Action

      I agree with you

  34. fredwilson

    That’s john’s view as well the now web has finally emerged

  35. fredwilson

    Thanks. Idve heard of finger but never used it

  36. Erik S.

    I am reminded of all the sites that sprung up to bridge between finger and http so people could keep track of the rapid evolution of real-time consumer 3D graphics (and new games from ID) by reading John Carmack’s .plan.