This evening, I posted a tweet:
Instagram, Snapchat, Foursquare, IFTTT, and Medium all got the axe this past week.
Here’s the expanded explanation.
Instagram: This was the most difficult account to close. I joined Instagram the moment they opened registration. I remember looking at terribly faux vignette photos from Jack Dorsey, back when he was in the closed beta. I catalogued most of my college life on Instagram with an iPod Touch. Instagram was reprieve for those who loved photography but hated postproduction. With a swipe and tap, your average photo could look above average. Then things changed. The Facebook acquisition, video, Sponsored Posts, and now, algorithmic timelines. Instagram’s values have changed, but mine haven’t. The Instagram I loved is dead, and I’ve been mourning for about six months too long. Time to say goodbye.
Snapchat: I rather enjoyed Snapchat, but it got too noisy. The novelty of seeing 50 snaps from someone’s completely normal weekday wears off faster than whatever glue Snapchat’s using to hold together their sham of a navigational UI.
Foursquare: Swarm got a big update last week, which reminded me that I still have a Foursquare account. After reseting my password, I gave the new Swarm a try, and then remembered how creepy it is to share your location with strangers. I could make my check-ins private, but I have zero friends on the service, so it’d just be me.
IFTTT: The only recipe I ever used would take any new Instagram photos and put a copy in my Dropbox. Considering I broke that recipe when I deleted my Instagram account, I had very little reason to continue being a member. Admittedly, IFTTT’s recent squirrely behavior made leaving a little easier.
Medium: The Gentle Green Giant. I deactivated my Medium account because… honestly, I can’t tell you. It’s a gut feeling of cynicism, of internal conflict. I want to like Medium. They make it so easy. Custom domains: check. Analytics: check. A method of surfacing interesting content: check. Moreover, Medium’s ethos as a sanctuary for writing couldn’t be stronger: The President of the United States, Basecamp, and any number of writers I respect are investing heavily in the service. Yet, for every exceptional piece I’ve read, there’s 30 others that seem to promote the over-the-top, wiser-than-you flavor of narcissism only the deluded self-centered can cultivate — and this crap gets huge traction on Medium. It even looks good on Medium. Strong typography, full-bleed images, mobile ready. When everything looks important, it can be hard to tell what really is.
—Monday, 28 March 2016