So, back to Nik’s point that Twitter is better because of the API.
Absolutely correct. But when we were standing in line last week for our iPhones Pownce’s lead developer, Leah Culver joined us and we talked at length about where Pownce is going. She said that she’ll expand on Pownce’s feature set, but wasn’t ready to commit to an API yet. Already, though, Pownce is available on Facebook and there’s an Adobe Integrated Runtime version of Pownce, so she is keeping up with some of the kinds of apps that Twitter has seen developed for it.
She has biased Pownce’s feature set toward scalability rather than sheer features or wide-open invitations (you can only use Pownce if you get an invite from someone on it already and those invites are limited based on how able Pownce’s datacenter is to keep up with it). Pownce has been faster than Twitter’s Web page to come up because of this bias.
Its interesting, I see many of the same people in my friends list on Twitter, Jaiku, Facebook, and now Pownce. Pownce is growing faster than the other ones right now, though. 728 people have already added me on Pownce.
I can’t take many more social networks. These are worse than email and that’s just the “are you a friend?” requests.
But, anyway, I still like Twitter the best. Why? No complications. It does only one thing. I find that on my cell phone I go back to Twitter before I go back to any of the others. It’s lightweight.
So, why is Pownce taking off? Better UI. Kevin Rose. Better UI. Kevin Rose. Heheh. Just kidding. But not really too far off. The designer who worked on Pownce is awesome. Love the look of Pownce and little touches like little ads in between messages. I also like that I can send messages just to my friends, or to the public.
Translation: I don’t get how all of these are going to survive. People will tend to go with the one that their friends are on and most of my friends are on Twitter or Facebook.
What do you think? Which one is going to end up being the most popular? If you’re on one of these, what feature would get you to switch? If you aren’t using any of these yet, why not?
Will Leah’s bias of scalability over APIs and features pay off? Or will Twitter’s decisions pay off for it?
UPDATE: Along these lines is this video of Jyri Engestrom, founder of Jaiku, which competes with both Twitter and Pownce.
Tonight Dave Winer linked to Nik Cubrilovic’s blog where he was talking about Twitter vs. Pownce. More on that in a second. I was reading on my Nokia N95. When I got there the page was completely black. Or at least the content area was. So, I called over Patrick and said “give me your iPhone.” I think I might even have said “please.” But that’s unimportant here.
He handed it over and I quickly tapped in Nik’s URL and visited his Web page. Looked great on the iPhone. Even the fonts looked better.
See, this is why I say the iPhone is better than the Nokia for MOST PEOPLE.
Later I saw Eric Rice talking about his own Nokia vs. iPhone debate. See, I have a feeling that Eric would actually LOVE a Nokia N95 over an iPhone. Why? Cause Eric is a geek. Geekier than me, even. And he’s also a content developer. A much better one than I am. Yeah, he uses different tools than I do to create content (I’ve mostly seen his work in Second Life) but he stands out of a crowd. Most people don’t create content. Most people don’t really care whether their phone has a GPS or a video camera. Most people DO want their Web pages to render decently, though.
Even on the camera front I had to reboot my Nokia several times today. See, my camera runs out of memory after opening and closing too many apps. So my camera refuses to load on the Nokia. I have yet to see that behavior on the iPhone.
Eric has it right in his post above. It’s not how many features you have. It’s how many of those features thrill you. My Nokia rarely thrills. Look at the picture above. That’s Family Guy playing. Patrick downloaded it from YouTube. It is an experience that thrills. Thrills in a way that my small screen on my Nokia rarely does.
I take it back. There is one time my Nokia thrills. When I get home and look at my photos. They remind me I had a good day and they are almost as good a quality as my Nikon pocket camera. Yet I have it with me.
And that’s why Eric Rice might really love the Nokia N95 but most everyone else would hate it.
Oh, one other thing. My battery died. Sigh. So unthrilling.