Twitter cofounder Ev Williams was recently quoted as saying that he “doesn’t give a s—” whether Instagram has more users than Twitter.
He has now taken to Medium to clarify that statement.
Williams argues that comparing Instagram and Twitter is like comparing apples and oranges.
Sure, they’re both social-networking platforms, but they are otherwise two fundamentally different services. Comparing the two based on a single arbitrary metric is useless, he says.
“Is Instagram larger than Twitter? No — it’s different than Twitter. One is largely private, the other largely public. One focuses on photos, the other on ideas. They’re both very large, and they’re both growing,” he writes.
This concept is something that Williams attempted to communicate in his original quote but that he believes got lost in the media frenzy.
“If you think about the impact Twitter has on the world versus Instagram, it’s pretty significant,” he said. “… It’s this realtime information network where everything in the world that happens on Twitter — important stuff breaks on Twitter and world leaders have conversations on Twitter. If that’s happening, I frankly don’t give a sh– if Instagram has more people looking at pretty pictures.”
Williams says those who report on, invest in, and consume internet services need to redefine how they determine success.
Evaluating different services based on one metric like monthly unique visitors or monthly active users tells only one side of the story.
Read his full post here.