Is This. the next big thing? Or will it soon be That. social platform. You know. The one That. wasn’t as big as people thought it would be?
Is This. Going to Be the Best Thing Social Media Network Since Sliced Bread?
Whenever we have a new, up-and-coming anything, we say it is the greatest thing since sliced bread. And that fits in this situation because the expression likely came from a marketing strategy. It is thought that Wonder Bread’s advertisements of its new sliced bread as the next great invention after wrapped bread eventually evolved into the expression as we know it.
And right now This. is big. But will it be the best thing since sliced bread?
What a Rose by Any Other Name Smell as Sweet?
Even before we get into what This. is, let’s discuss why this is called This. and not That. (or anything else they could have come up with.)
This. as a social media expression started way before the actual platform was created. Through its use on Twitter, memes, and other social media connotations, it has come to mean, “Yes. I agree with this.” All you need to do is share a link, and type, ‘This.’ and people will just get exactly what you mean.
Basically, it means, “I could not say it in any better words, so I won’t try. Just, this. This is something you need to know.”
Kyle Chayka wrote an aricle on this for Medium. (Literally. It is an article on the word this.) In the post, the etymology of the word is discussed. It comes from the and seo. So in other words, the is a specific – not a thing, but the thing. And seo is Old English imperative of to see. So, as Chayka points out, if you point it together, it means – Look at the thing I want to show you. See this specific thing. It is a command. It’s just. This.
What is This., Though?
This. is a newly launched social networking site. It is similar to other networking sites in several ways.
- Create a profile.
- Connect to people.
- Share links to content you love.
However, there is one notable exception (other than the fact that right now it is still invite only.)You can only share one link a day so you better make it something good.
The idea behind This. is the same thing content experts have been preaching for years: quality over quantity. If you only get one link, you better make it something worth linking to.
Apart from making the linker think about what they are going to post, there are several reasons This. should please viewers as well. Imagine if you could take your Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram feeds and get rid of all the nonsense.
Say goodbye to your best friend’s cousin’s posts about her dinner or your friend’s constant pictures of her adorable kids. Instead, the only thing you see are the articles, videos, etc., that are really important to people – because in This. world, you can add a link, not a selfie.
The idea behind the product is not only to boost quality posts, but to make what you read much more digestible. Because of the novel idea behind This. many people think it will be the next big thing in social media.
But people used to say Ello was the next big thing in social media. Where does that stand? How can there be two ‘next big thing’s’?
When Ello launched, it was touted as the solution to Facebook. It was going to take social media and turn it on its head. How was it going to do this?
By removing all the annoying ads and getting rid of the clutter by allowing you to put the posts you didn’t like under a noise category. The site gears itself towards younger generations and does not try to hide it.
Now, people do not talk as much about this platform. Sure it still exists. Technically. But as Tech Crunch will tell you, it is only pretending to still be alive and everybody has already forgotten it – except for obviously Tech Crunch and me who could not have quite forgotten it yet since we are both talking about it.
So what happened?
According to Josh Constine, who wrote the Tech Crunch article, the problem with Ello was that they tried too hard to be Facebook – just without ads. Facebook is a monster. It is not going to come down that easily. So if you want to succeed in the social media arena, your best bet is not to overthrow Facebook, but just to be different enough to cohabitate with it.
Can This. Last?
So is This. the new Ello? Or could it be the next Twitter, Instagram, etc.? Different enough to be a companion to the social network giant not a competitor? The best way to figure this out is to look at what the experts think and at what the limited amount of users think.
This. User Reviews
I wish when I said This. user reviews, I meant this user reviews the product (meaning me), but since This. is invite only, I’ll just have to take the words of others. So what I meant before is that this section is on user reviews of This.
There are only around 10,000 users right now, but that isn’t because only 10,000 people are interested. It’s really hard to get an invite. Of the people using it, though, most seem to be satisfied with it. However, for now, many of the users are press and journalists who have been lucky enough to get an invite.
In other words, most of the user reviews are the expert reviews. And that is the problem with making any sort of claim as to how This. will do once it has entered public Beta.
The “experts” and the general public often disagree. So while the experts may like it now, its eventual success will come in large part from the public.
So what will they think? We will all just have to wait and see.
The Experts Weigh In
As with any upcoming product, tool, or platform, the experts are all out their giving their opinions. But what are they saying?
- Gabe Rosenberg for Contently. He appears to be a fan. Rosenberg points out the fact that the site isn’t about me’s, it’s about them’s. People are encouraged to share the works of other people’s content. It’s of essence non-self-promotional. Or, to say it in his own words, the goal of publishing should be to “too cut through the noise, not add to it.” And that is the idea behind This.
- Nicole Zhu for Northwestern University’s Knight Lab. She’s a big fan. In fact, she says that the site has quickly become her main frequently used site.
It is hard to find more. With a name like This., especially in the early stages, it is not that search friendly. I could give you the reviews that they have pinpointed themselves, but I feel that would not be a very fair assessment. (Spoiler: all the reviews they post on their home page says great things.)
At any rate, cloaked in mystery or not, what does seem to be clear is that the experts who know about it and write about it, appear to be in agreement: This. is it. The best social media site since Ello – only, it’s actually going to work this time.
Making Predictions that May or May Not Prove True
After everything that has been said, what do you think? Will This. last?
My personal opinion is to say yes. It has a lot going for it. But, despite their ingenious reasons for picking their name, I think that could hurt them if they ever want to go more mainstream. It’s one thing if you get an invite to join. It’s quite another if you are trying to find them on Google – say maybe to write an article about them – and you have to search for This. I promise you, it is not as easy as it sounds. And it doesn’t sound easy.
Helpful hint: try searching This.cm Atlantic. This. is good advice, I promise.
Still, though, nothing is ever definite.
In a world where today’s ‘next big thing’ is immediately replaced by tomorrow’s ‘next big thing,’ it is hard to predict what will happen for any emerging technology. But This. Well, This. just might work. We’ll have to wait and see.