Last year, in a fit of pique about the car billionaire buying my favourite app — the place I set up an account in 2008 to be a professional and ended up, 15 years later, mostly using it to chat about gaming, promise (and fail) to read books and become friends with people thousands of miles away — I joined Mastodon.
It was hard to get used to. I started by joining the popular instance, which apparently was the ‘wrong’ one. (.social gets blocked by other instances a lot — who knew! Not me!)
Months later, I switched instances and posted…a bit…but Twitter kept pulling me back in. It’s where my friends are.
Then Hive appeared, and, like many of my friends, I rushed over to see what it was about. It looked pretty, but there were rumblings about the app’s security, and it wasn’t very stable at first. So, I quickly lost my nerve, deleted the app and asked them to delete my info.
There then followed months of grumpy peace. Peace because, apart from popping into Mastodon now and then, I was sticking with Twitter. Grumpy because, well, it started rapidly devolving into a cesspit.
To get the best experience possible, I created a list of people I liked and tried to keep using that as my home feed. That works – sometimes – but then came the Blue check replies being moved to the top of replies to a post and the ads for rubbish products from dubious-sounding online stores (I blocked 75 in one day – SEVENTY-FIVE!!)
What I wanted was that illusive Bluesky invite. How many months would I need to wait?!
A few weeks ago, a Twitter mutual offered an invite code to Bluesky and I ran screaming to her replies in a panic. Would this be the moment? Would I get the key to New Twitter?
So, I started using Bluesky, in addition to Mastodon and Twitter. The app’s a bit slow, but it’s so good to just chat with people and not worry about ads from weird companies. The vibe’s just very relaxed (Mastodon is also relaxed, but also very geeky – which I love too).
The only problem was I didn’t know anyone there (until I got a few invite codes to share), so I spent most of my app time on Twitter.
I went from drafting a blog post last week that mentioned rumours of a Meta/Instagram Twitter rival to doing a quick edit as Zuckerberg announced the surprise launch.
Yes, I’m on Threads now too.
Yes, I know it’s a privacy nightmare. And, while I hate Facebook with a burning passion, I already use Instagram and WhatsApp, so…does it really matter? I’m not sure.
What I do know is that 10 million people signed up in the space of 7 hours. The app runs smoothly, and friends have been joining all day.
Apart from — ahem, privacy concerns 😬, the downside is that deleting your Threads account means deleting your Instagram account.
Smart move, Zuck.
I am now on four microblogging apps.
Where will things settle? Honestly, who knows? Threads looks fun and has the advantage of quick access, easy account setup, and a ready-made following.
All I know right now is that I’m trying to balance four apps, each with feeds full of people explaining why the others are rubbish and won’t last.
I don’t know about you, but I am tired.