Tired of social media hijinx? Grab a messenger instead.
I peaked in on Twitter earlier tonight and saw the very welcome return of the hashtag #DeleteFacebook. Oddly enough, this time it’s for purely political reasons. Shockingly, after the mass banning of conservative speakers just a few weeks ago, now it is the liberals that are crying out to delete Facebook thanks to a couple of videos of Nancy Pelosi. One video, taken from Fox News and even shared by President Donald Trump on Twitter, is a mix of Nancy’s verbal fumblings during a speech. The other video is slowed down ever so slightly which makes her sound quite drunk, which would have actually been a reasonable excuse for her inability to produce an intelligible sentence.
It seems those Nancy supporters are claiming both videos are “doctored” and that Facebook should not allow the videos to be shared on it’s site. Sure. The same folks that shared a slowed down video of candidate Donald Trump making mocking gestures. The same folks that like to share photos of Trump speech venues before they have allowed in all the people in order to say that no one showed up, are now up in arms over an edited and obviously slowed down video. Say what you want about President Trump, the man draws crowds. So apparently only one side is allowed freedom of speech. Only one side is allowed to satirize the other.
Regardless of how much I disagree with the cause, I’m in full agreement with the resulting call to #DeleteFacebook. After all, I deleted Facebook before it was a way to #resist.
Let’s face it. Facebook, Facebook owned Instagram, and Twitter, well, to use a term that was so comically used during the last election term, they’ve become dumpster fires. Mark Zuckerberg, Jack Dorsey, and their ilk, have abused the power users have handed them. They have been negligent with user privacy, and have abused their position to push their own political agendas, deciding who will be allowed speach, and who will be silenced.
If only there was a way to enjoy the good aspects of social media, without inhaling the fumes of those dumpster fires? Well, there is.
It can be argued that social media came from messaging. Growing beyond simple messaging and into these media machines they are now. But even with all the features that have been added to the likes of Facebook and Twitter, the aspect that keeps people using them, is messaging. At the same time, messaging platforms have moved forward on their own feature sets, without all the fat and political agenda that has contaminated social media. The end of social media platforms will be social media platforms themselves, and messaging platforms are already there to fill the void.
My favorite platform, and the platform I dreamed would someday overtake the likes of Facebook, was BBM. BBM had grown with an amazing feature set. Between a feature rich and secure messaging experience, and the addition of BBM Channels and Feeds, it was everything I wanted in a social network experience. Status updates from my contacts, Channels which allowed people to post things to private friends, or to the public, I absolutely loved it. Sure, there was more room to grow. Embedded video, longer posts in Channels, I’m sure we all had several things we wanted to see. Unfortunately, my dreams never came to fruition, as BBM licensee Emtek has failed to meet the challenge, and have given up on the service and it’s users. Sadly, at the end of this month, BBM as we know it, will come to an end.
BlackBerry has done their best to appease users by opening up BBM Enterprise to all users. Unfortunately, while still a super secure and capable messenger application, it is missing out on those very things I am writing about today. There is no social media aspects. There are no channels. Feeds are extremely limited in what can be posted and shared in status updates. I am, as always, a big fan and supporter of BlackBerry, but BBM Enterprise in it’s current form, is nothing more than a secure messenger. And I want more.
Being forcibly removed from my messenger of choice, I have ended up on Telegram, and I see a platform that can finally do it. A platform that can replace those that have ruined our trust. Telegram’s chats feel like BBM, in that many (but not all) of the features we have grown used to are there. We have stickers, we can change our backgrounds, share our live location, the mechanics of the chat window are nearly identical. And honestly, some features are even more advanced. Sharing videos and music in chats is as close to perfect as I can imagine. More importantly, Telegram has Channels. While I still prefer BBM Channels format and appearance, users can create multiple private and public channels. With a little bit of work with bots, you can have reactions and comments.
More importantly, Telegram has a larger user base than BBM, and appears to be growing quickly, as those users and their followers that were censored and banned on Facebook, have found their way to Telegram. It seems people are allowed to speak freely, and think freely on Telegram. What a novel concept in the age of Facebook.
The ability to share, to keep in contact, to speak, to follow and listen to who you want to, and not who Mark and Jack decide to allow you to see? I hope this time, the #DeleteFacebook craze takes a greater affect. It’s time for the reign of “social media” to end. And messaging as a platform, is ready to take it’s place.