Friendfeed is now doing to Twitter what Tribe.net et al did to Friendster.
At least in the reliability aspect.
Twitter is so well-loved and popular that it’s failing frequently under its own weight.
While it can be argued that there’s worse problems to have, (first part of prior sentence), the second part of that sentence means that some folks will seek alternatives, as asserted in this TechCrunch article.
And so it goes: free market forces inspire movement among providers. Despite my early counsel to Friendster’s founder (who I informally advised), the site was unable to mend its tech difficulties fast enough when its popularity first peaked.
But there is a key difference here: people still love Twitter. There is great brand loyalty, and it would be tough to argue that there is any kind of backlash or “yesterday’s niteclub” kind of thing, as might be argued right now against Facebook. Friendster lost people in droves due to a revolution: the founder made some key decisions that angered or alienated some early adopters, banning some and attempting to enforce quality measures including what people could include as content on their page. Tribe, and later Myspace, came in and served these people, as evidenced by the hideous and browser-busting pages allowed to exist on those sites. This, together w/ terrible page load times and outages, rallied public exodus and folks publicly declared their jumps over to Tribe.net and a few others, never to return.
Twitter now sits at a critical time in its history. And it can certainly coexist along side Friendfeed and others (they’re different services). Hopefully its tech issues will be solved soon enough to do so.