The networks we’ve tried .. and abandoned


Why do some social networks thrive, while others fail?

I’m sure you can all list a few social tools you eagerly tried out and then promptly forgot.

I asked some of my friends if they’d tried and abandoned a social network or tool – and why. You’ll probably find yourself agreeing with them, while in other cases their answers will surprise you:

Vern SchulzThe social media app I’ve abandoned (long ago) is Gowalla. Gowalla showed great promise in the start, I liked its navigation and interface was pretty easy to use. Unfortunately, it went the way of Beta video cassettes and the public take-up was poor – hence I dropped it [Note, Gowalla ceased operating two years ago – Prakky]

Vern and Prakky
Vern and Prakky

I’m also finding Klout’s relevance is …  well …  irrelevant to me. Maybe it’s because I’m not a business and I’ve no need for knowing what my SM impact is. I’ve no doubt it’s a valuable tool, but for me as a personal account, I don’t have any interest.

Alex CrokerI’ve pretty much abandoned Hootsuite. I found it to be excellent as a business managing tool – or a tool where you have a lot of pages or responses to get to as a team. However, as an individual I’ve found it frustrating, irritating and almost like a leach on my phone notifications.

The most frustrating feature is by far when it brings up messages which I have responded to a long time ago – it regularly does this with direct messages and could use much better synchronisation with my Twitter profile more commonly accessed through my boring old Twitter app.  That said – it is much better for lists than Twitter’s app.

See Alex’s YouTube channel here:


Tom Williamson : Path springs to mind because I see people still using it and I occasionally check in to see who’s there and if it’s changed. It rarely does. For me, Path was too similar to too many other apps. I could do almost everything there that I can do in a multitude of other apps. Writing it now, it sounds like the dream app – a one stop shop for all my social addictions but it wasn’t. I felt bombarded with options to share where I was, what I was listening to, what I was watching, how I felt about it, what time I went to bed, when I had lunch, add a photo, say something interesting and then post it *phew*.

I also remember when Facebook was more complex; I could super poke, throw sheep and cows, I had a Fun Wall and a farm full of animals. Then the Zuck simplified it. One wall, games became apps, businesses were given pages and status updates were the focus. It was simple.

Slowly, features have been added; we can now let people know how we feel, tag places we’re updating from and friends we’re with but it was a steady introduction, not an attack of features to learn how to use.

Perhaps I wouldn’t have strayed from Path (pun 100% intended) if it had started out with 10% of the features and slowly added the rest. If the objective was clear from the outset – what did the creators of Path want me to do? – maybe I’d still be using it and the answer to your questions would be about Facebook.

Jenny Clift“Instagram, I’m sorry, I’ve broken up with you. I tried. Yes I did. But I have to tell you there is another. See, I started using Flickr in 2005 and it works for me. I can use a web browser or my phone to upload to it. Alas, Instagram, you won’t let me upload using a web browser and that is a deal breaker for me. Plus there’s only so many social media platforms that I can share my photos with. Flickr, as I mentioned, is one. Facebook is another. So, Instagram, sorry, it’s bye bye to you.”  See Jenny’s site:

Twitter responses

I also asked the question on Twitter. GooglePlus and Foursquare featured in the most responses.

How about me?

I’ve given up on Get Glue, Miso app, Path (after a few attempts) and the New MySpace to name a few.

With most of them, the main factor was the lack of unique interaction there. My friends in those platforms were also friends with me on Twitter or Facebook. We were ‘trying’  the tools together I suppose, and found nothing compelling to keep us there. The exception is Miso. I did enjoy Miso not for potential friendships and networking, but the basic utility of keeping track of what episode I was up to when it came to my favourite TV series. Sadly, the app kept crashing on me or acting strangely and I eventually gave it up. I may yet return … watch this space.

I’ll put the question to you now: what’s a social tool you’ve tried and abandoned? (And why?)


14 Comments Add yours

  1. I’ve given up on Instagram once before but have found myself coming back to it with a vengence! Not surprising as this is pretty much my pattern for everything in life!

    1. Prakky says:

      That’s another interesting point, Vanessa. Sometimes we come back to a social media tool. This happened to me with Twitter and Foursquare; I think if our friends are persisting with a social network (or we just keep hearing about it) it encourages us to take another look.

  2. Mark Angus says:

    Like you, I gave Path a try, but also found that it was largely duplicating what was already going on elsewhere in more established platforms. I would be interested to know how people responded re: Google+ and whether that is picking up in popularity or is Janis Hill’s experience all too common.

  3. sikolakjengkol says:

    Reblogged this on Batok kelapa.

  4. Tarla Kramer says:

    Some Spanish thing a bit like facebook that I can’t even remember the name of. I think even my Latin American friends switched to facebook in the end

  5. I gave up on Foursquare. I discovered it on the Gold Coast when I was on holiday about five years ago. It was new but had great take up and I got lots of deals and discounts at venues – who doesn’t love a free drink? Then I came home to Tassie and no one had even heard of it, I persisted for a while, but when Facebook added the ability to check-in via mobile I canned it.

    1. Prakky says:

      Facebook would be interested to hear that, Cassandra! I’m sure it’s one of the reasons Facebook adopted the check-in facility.

  6. I agree with Tom W. re: the functionality of Path – it was too all too much. However, Path had such a fun, clear and powerful interface – I was really hoping someone like Facebook would buy them and take over some of their style. Isn’t style lacking in most social media platform interfaces?

    1. Prakky says:

      I do enjoy Path’s style – it’s slick and attractive and a pleasure to use. Seeing the same stories from the ‘usual users’ isn’t much fun though.

  7. Here is a short list – Jelly, Circle and Quora. All have their uses, but never really reached the mainstream. However, Quora is now for the Academics, etc.

    1. Prakky says:

      Quora! Thanks for reminding me of that, Adrian. I’ve gone back and forth with Quora and did find it useful and intriguing in the beginning. It’s also fallen by the wayside, for me, because it wasn’t compelling enough to have me visit regularly.

  8. Bree says:

    Sadly I stopped using Twitter a couple of years ago personally after being an addict. I now use it occasionally on a professional if I’m at an event/conference. MySpace I dumped long long ago. Tried to abandon Facebook and lasted almost 8 months ‘offline’ until I realised I was missing event invites. Seems most people prefer a FB invite (either via messages or genuine event page) over sending an email/sms etc.

    1. Prakky says:

      Thanks for reading, Bree. You’re right: Facebook is used for a lot of events, isn’t it? I find my friends using messages + event pages to organise all sorts of things, even group buys.

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