Another new micro-blogging platform called Plurk has stirred the social scene the last couple of days. Basically, they are doing exactly the same thing as Twitter, only they’re looking, uhm, cooler. That, and their IM updates seem to work. My initial reaction was “Oh wow! Bye, bye Twitter! Hello, Plurk!”. Then sensibility kicked in big time.
Lets face it, Plurk looks good. Its updates are presented in a calendar, gantt-like style, which looks amazing! Only thing is, I’d like to see it with 300+ followers’ updates! That could prove to be pretty unreadable, I would guess. So while it looks amazing, I cannot help to wonder if it is going to be practical.
The AJAX effects on the Plurk pages are spectacular. It is dazzling to say the least! The page layout works well. Everything in one place. At first glance you’d also think “Why use Twitter still?”.
The big question is how would this impact on Twitter? Twitter is a wounded dog at the moment with all their scalability issues and their IM updates being down for more than a week now. It seems as if Plurk is taking advantage of Twitter’s disposition. So, would it really have an impact? It could, sure, but not anytime soon.
Twitter’s success lies not in nifty functionality and awesome AJAX tricks. Twitter’s success could be directly attributed to its API. There are TONS of Twitter mashups and third party developed products out there in the wild implementing Twitter’s API with great success. Plurk does not currently have an API. We won’t see any third party products until this has been remedied. Plurk does not mark up its pages with Microformats which Twitter does, so another big minus in my books for Plurk.
All in all I think Plurk has potential, but it also has lots to do to get anywhere near Twitter. I wish it good luck!