Simplicity Rules

This post was co-authored by fellow fueler Arthur Greene

Long before the days of Klout scores and links, Jack Dorsey envisioned an internal communications system built on a mobile platform. It would allow his employees to communicate with one another on a direct and succinct level.  He capped messages at 140 characters to comply with restrictions enforced upon SMS messaging. It’s safe to say that when Dorsey sent out that first Tweet, he had no idea what he created.

Like a lot of younger boys, we grew up grabbing the newspaper and flipping straight to the sports section. In an effort to make us a bit more cultured, our fathers always encouraged us to read the headlines and first sentences on the front page. From that snapshot, you could get it all.   It was this sort of “training” that helped the “millennial generation” – adapt to and shape Twitter so quickly.

Over time niche social media gurus picked up Twitter, thinking it would be the next major outlet for personal interaction, and in essence, the evolution of the blog. But as more influencers and everyday creative minds began to join the network, people were given the opportunity to connect and share with people that they didn’t have access to before. It also changed the habits of how typical internet users browsed the days events. They could stay on one screen and watch the world provide them with a digital table of contents to guide their day of consumption.

Twitter created a gateway to the world. A peephole into the lives of celebrities, an aggregator of all that matters from the people who matter, a running commentary on the days events and a haven for the shortened links, ultimately organizing the jumbled world of the internet into a tailored, personalized rolodex of content.

As new social entities pop up all over the Internet, they are taking developed products and trying to turn them into the foundation of something new. This may be a fool’s errand. The greatest social networks of the last decade started off as simple foundations that let the user dictate the development. Twitter over the last 5 years has blossomed into everything we’ve wanted it to be, and its success lies in that elasticity.

The greatest online platforms of the last decade have started out as just that, platforms. Simply foundations of letting people mimic real life behavior through the Internet. As complex as it may seem, simplicity still rules.



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